SpaceX CEO Elon Musk has revealed the first public photo of the ultra-sleek spacesuits that astronauts will wear when the company sends humans into space.
In a post on Instagram today (Aug. 23), Musk revealed an image of a person sitting in what looks like a spacecraft cabin, wearing a bright white-and-silver spacesuit. Musk said that the suits have already been tested in “double vacuum pressure,” (a spacesuit must maintain Earth-like pressure in the astronauts body, despite the lack of atmospheric pressure in the vacuum of space), although these suits are likely not intended to be worn outside the spacecraft. He also noted that it was “incredibly hard” to balance aesthetics and function.
Along with Boeing, SpaceX is poised to become one of the first private companies to send humans into space. Both companies won contracts with NASA to launch humans to the International Space Station. Crewed test flights are scheduled for 2018, with flights to the station scheduled for sometime in 2019. However, at least one report suggests it is very possible there will be additional delays. SpaceX has also announced it plans to send two private citizens on a trip around the moon.
Earlier this year, Boeing revealed its new “Boeing Blue” astronaut spacesuits. The blue-and-gray suits are lighter than shuttle-era flight suits, according to the company, and include things like touch-screen sensitive gloves and soft helmets that are attached to the body of the suit. Boeing is scheduled to become the first private company to fly humans into space.