Pic Elon Musk revealed the first official photo of the SpaceX "spacesuit" today on Instagram.
"First picture of SpaceX spacesuit," the billionaire breathlessly wrote in his caption. "More in days to follow. Worth noting that this actually works (not a mockup). Already tested to double vacuum pressure. Was incredibly hard to balance esthetics and function. Easy to do either separately."
Yup, it's a spacesuit all right. It looks pretty generic. We imagine the people wearing it won't care: as long as it keeps them alive and lets them move, that'll be the ticket.
In a Reddit AMA in 2015, Musk said the team was "putting a lot of effort into design esthetics, not just utility" for the garb.
There are several kinds of suits:
- Spacesuits that astronauts wear when they go on spacewalks.
- Suits they wear during launch and re-entry, such as the Advanced Crew Escape Suit NASA has used.
- At one point, NASA was also testing [PDF] a modified Advanced Crew Escape Suit that could work for spacewalks.
At the time of writing, SpaceX was not immediately available to clarify whether the spacesuit is being designed specifically for in-flight travel or also for spacewalks. We also asked for information on the designer.