SpaceX CEO and all-around cool guy Elon Musk has finally unveiled the company's spacesuit via Instagram while teasing that more details should arrive in the next few days.
This isn't anything similar to a spacesuit from the days of yore, that's for sure. It's certainly sleeker, more elegant, and more indicative of Musk's love of sci-fi. The company already has drone ships called "Just Read the Instructions" and "Of Course I Still Love You," both borrowed from the works of Iain M. Banks, so it's no wonder its spacesuit looks as if it's straight out of a Ridley Scott film.
SpaceX Reveals Its Spacesuit, Proves Elon Musk Is A Sci-Fi Fan
The spacesuit is white, simple, and not at all bulky — probably because it's actually not meant for spacewalks but only meant to be worn when inside SpaceX's Dragon capsule. Astronauts will wear them during transport in case the capsule depressurized. This is actually the suit NASA astronauts will put on for the commercial crew program when SpaceX starts sending and fetching people to and from the International Space Station, or ISS.
A Balance Of Design And Function
Musk noted designing its spacesuit involved a balance between aesthetics and function. He also said the suits have already passed testing in "double vacuum pressure," which only means the suit itself will maintain Earth-like levels of pressure internally despite the lack of pressure on space.
"Worth noting that this actually works (not a mockup)," said Musk.
Flights To The International Space Station
Along with SpaceX, Boeing will also be sending humans into space. Both companies are among the first private space companies to do so, having won contracts with NASA for Earth-to-ISS travel. Crewed test flights are scheduled in 2018, and flights to the station will commence sometime in 2019.
SpaceX's spacesuit design is a stark contrast to Boeing's "Boeing Blue" spacesuit, unveiled earlier this year, which unsurprisingly also looks akin to something straight out of a sci-fi flick. Both SpaceX and Boeing have designed slick-looking suits, proving space travel and engineering can still flirt with design and aesthetics. Hopefully, SpaceX can clue everybody in on how it balanced design and function. That alone could be a potentially interesting look on where form and utility merge.
What do you like or hate about SpaceX's spacesuit design? Anything you'd like to add, remove, or revise? As always, feel free to sound off in the comments section below!