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Elon Musk Posts First Photo of SpaceX's New Spacesuit (arstechnica.com) 142

Early Wednesday morning, SpaceX founder Elon Musk posted a photo of the spacesuit that will be used by astronauts flying aboard the company's Dragon spacecraft, perhaps as early as next year. Ars Technica reports: In his Instagram post, Musk added that this suit was not a mock-up but rather a fully functional unit. "Already tested to double vacuum pressure," he wrote. "Was incredibly hard to balance aesthetics and function. Easy to do either separately." (Double vacuum pressure simply means the suit was probably inflated to twice the pressure of sea level and then put into a vacuum chamber.) Musk gave no other technical information about the suit. Most strikingly, it is white, in contrast to the very blue spacesuits unveiled by Boeing in January. These are not, strictly speaking, "space suits." Rather, they are more properly flight suits designed to be worn during the ride to space and again on the ride back down to Earth. They have a limited time in which they can operate in a full vacuum and are not intended for spacewalks.
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Elon Musk Posts First Photo of SpaceX's New Spacesuit

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  • by Anonymous Coward

    These are not, strictly speaking, "space suits." Rather, they are more properly flight suits designed to be worn during the ride to space and again on the ride back down to Earth. They have a limited time in which they can operate in a full vacuum and are not intended for spacewalks.

    So call the flight suit a flight suit. Different tools are for different jobs, and giving them a distinct name helps to avoid confusion.

    • by gl4ss ( 559668 )

      you think that boosts public perception of spacex and musk as much?

      he doesn't care about mispresenting. it would be easy enough to argue that he deliberately makes misleading pr(more recently particularly about teslas financial affairs/state)

    • So call the flight suit a flight suit.

      Because flight suit is ambiguous just as space suit is also ambiguous. They are not strictly speaking "EVA" suits but they are IVA space suits. To quote Wikipedia

      Three types of spacesuits exist for different purposes: IVA (intravehicular activity), EVA (extravehicular activity), and IEVA (intra/extravehicular activity).

      Boeing uses the same nomenclature. http://www.boeing.com/features... [boeing.com]

      They're designed to be used in a vacuum. Therefore space suit is a perfectly acceptable term. Just because a suit isn't an EVA suit doesn't mean it's not also a space suit.

  • Not sure how it looks inflated but it certainly looks like a motorcycle outfit.

    I do like the fact it has an actual helmet, unlike the blue suit which looks like a completely "rollupable" uprated biohazard suit. Keep in mind these are just "pressure suits", not "space suits"

    • I do like the fact it has an actual helmet

      Boeing has a helmet as well. You just wear it inside the hazmat-bubble.

  • Then let the Elon Musk bashing begin!

    It's been the favourite pastime for trolls on Slashdot these last years, after all.

    • Given the huge amount of wank given to Musk in Slashdot stories "these last years" it is not surprising that you can see a proportional amount of Musk bashing.

      • I would say: "Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar's" - though I want to avoid religious connotation hence I would be categorized as a Elon-wanker. ;-)

        But give to the man what he deserves, and he deserves at least some small praise. That some un-rightfully praise him into heavens is not his fault, and doesn't mean he deserves to be un-rightfully bashed neither. He's not at fault for wankers, nor for slashdot-stories, so I fail to see the logic why it would be justified to bash him withou

  • by Anonymous Coward

    I mean, it's function is to keep you alive. There's no _balance_ in that, that's a zero fail mission. Balance implies trade offs. By definition this is one of those times you can't take away from B for A... at all. If there's _room_ for A, sure make some A... but leave B the fuck alone.

  • ...to go into orbit, and not to a concert at the Royal Albert Hall, why should one care about aestethics ?
    • Because striding out in a aesthetically pleasing suit to the launch pad is a better photo op than waddling out in a balloon suit. Or do you disagree that the Mercury astronauts in their silver suits look better and cooler than the Shuttle astronauts in their orange blobs?

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Since SpaceX also wants to cash in on space-tourism: If you pay some million of USD for a trip, you also want to look good, right?

    • Because people who have the cool millions laying around to enjoy a brief trip into space typically care about aesthetics.

    • why should one care about aesthetics

      Because manned space flight is mostly about science PR. One man or woman walks out in a kickass space suit and 1,000 school kids run off to become engineers and software developers. It's the same reason the Blue Angels exist. Every time a Blue Angel flies over a city 100 kids enlist in the Navy.

      It's kind of also like how for every person who is a software developer a AAA game engine, there are a 1,000 programmers who are working on eCommerce shopping-cart code that were inspired to learn programming in o

  • He's like a car salesman that starts by showing you the cup holders.

    He promises us the Hyperloop, then shows us the inside of its cabin [cnet.com].

    He promises human flight to the ISS, then shows us the space, oh wait, I mean flight suit, that will be worn by travelers.

    When will he show us what he promised to show us?

    • by Anonymous Coward

      You mean like rocket first stages landing safely at a specific location in a way conducive to being reused ? Or perhaps electric cars that you can buy right now? Maybe home power storage solutions?

      Sure, he might not have all his projects finished yet, but he's certainly delivering a hell of a lot more than most big-talkers.

      • by EvilSS ( 557649 )
        Or the Dragon cargo capsule that the crew capsule is based on, making deliveries to the ISS?
      • by eepok ( 545733 )
        The promise wasn't simply self-landing first-stage rockets. It was a commitment to provide low cost orbital launch vehicles and responsive launch services, on a recurring basis, using a mature vehicle design and a commercially derived booster to meet mission/payload requirements. (2005) It's safe to say that that expectation hasn't been met (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Falcon_9_and_Falcon_Heavy_launches#Past_launches).

        The promise wasn't "electric cars that you can buy now", it was "electric ca
    • by Rei ( 128717 )

      Hyperloop Transportation Technologies has nothing to do with Musk. More to the point, the only thing Musk initially stated about Hyperloop that he's now starting to go back on was that he wasn't going to get personally involved with it.

    • He's like a car salesman that starts by showing you the cup holders.

      He promises us the Hyperloop, then shows us the inside of its cabin [cnet.com].

      He promises human flight to the ISS, then shows us the space, oh wait, I mean flight suit, that will be worn by travelers.

      When will he show us what he promised to show us?

      If every company showed nothing until everything was done we'd have quite a boring (and probably poor performing) market. This stuff, the sneak peaks, gets people excited about things now and makes them eager to see more. That's how it always works, I'm sure you weren't born yesterday? Instead of criticizing them for not delivering human space flight ahead of schedule, save your criticism for next year when they fail to meet their actual '18 Q2 delivery time. Then you'll actually have some ground to sta

  • Look pretty awesome.
  • I'm curious about the part "hard to balance aesthetics and function". How will it look like? Space Marine Power Armor? Exo-skeleton? Really curious to see.
    • by EvilSS ( 557649 )

      I'm curious about the part "hard to balance aesthetics and function". How will it look like? Space Marine Power Armor? Exo-skeleton? Really curious to see.

      So maybe click the link in the summary to go see pictures of it??

  • If cabin pressure drops, the suit balloons up and makes it hard to move. An excellent way to counter this is by simply leaving less air in the suit, i.e. make it skintight. It's a shame they didn't do this; I was rather looking forward to our glorious future society where everyone walks around in skintight suits...

    • If cabin pressure drops, the suit balloons up and makes it hard to move. An excellent way to counter this is by simply leaving less air in the suit, i.e. make it skintight. It's a shame they didn't do this; I was rather looking forward to our glorious future society where everyone walks around in skintight suits...

      Be careful what you wish for. Have you seen most Americans? You wouldn't want to see me in one, that's for sure...

      • If cabin pressure drops, the suit balloons up and makes it hard to move. An excellent way to counter this is by simply leaving less air in the suit, i.e. make it skintight. It's a shame they didn't do this; I was rather looking forward to our glorious future society where everyone walks around in skintight suits...

        Be careful what you wish for. Have you seen most Americans? You wouldn't want to see me in one, that's for sure...

        I'm currently on a business trip to the US, so I see lots of them all around me. And while many would not be improved much by skintight clothing, there have been a few that I certainly wouldn't mind observing in such manner ;-)

    • Skin tight suits have issues with creasing pinching the wearer's skin. Now, for a suit you're only wearing in case of a cockpit pressure failure, you may be willing to risk that in return for a more comfortable suit.

      Another option is the constant volume suit - and we've been making those since the 60s. They have their advantages, but they probably are better for situations where you're not mostly depending on your spacecraft for pressure anyway.

  • I think this flight suit was tested in Space 1999...

    • On a related note, I hear Musk has an awesome plan to deal with nuclear waste by storing it on the moon.

  • "But we made ours with a special rabbit ear on the top so we could pipe in some music." -- The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou is a 2004 film starring Bill Murray as eccentric oceanographer Steve Zissou
  • NASA produced a book some few years ago on the history of flight suits called Dressing for Altitude. It's not the world's most riveting read, but it is freely available online [nasa.gov] and it may (somewhat ironically) have the best design and typography of any book I've read.

    Also in a similarly space-related bent, if anyone here has not read John Clark's Ignition! [sciencemadness.org] then they should certainly do so. The subtitle of the book should probably be "The secret history of rocket fuel", but the author went for "An informal

  • by mccrew ( 62494 ) on Thursday August 24, 2017 @10:38AM (#55075549)
    Elon Musk [arstechnica.net] or Daft Punk? [imgur.com]
  • Looks like a prototype for Stormtrooper armor.

    Galactic Empire confirmed!

  • Since these will be used for the short vanity flight of the very rich, can we not call them astronauts and, instead, call them Space Douches, or something else?
    • Since these will be used for the short vanity flight of the very rich, can we not call them astronauts and, instead, call them Space Douches, or something else?

      No. These will be mostly used by Astronauts visiting the International Space Station.

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