Written by Adél
There are many tools and special equipment astronauts have to carry with them on their journey to space. One of them is the spacesuit. As I focus on fashion in my articles, I was wondering about the bridge connecting this industry with the topic of “Space exploration”. I looked at pictures of astronauts and I realized that I would like to know more about what their suits are made of, and how they actually protect the people inside. So in this article, we are going to look at the curiosities about this garment.
These suits are a very helpful tool that enables space travellers to survive in this unexplored environment. As we know, the universe is full of wonders and unexpected things. If you have watched any movies that concern space, you probably noticed that it was full of sudden difficulties and struggles. The conditions might become extreme, such as plus or minus 95 degrees Celsius. This leads to one of the main tasks of the suit, which is protection, and has many forms. From extreme temperatures, getting hurt by space dust, or from the vacuum.
What is very interesting about this piece of clothing is its multifunctionality. It can actually also serve as a “minibar”. It supplies astronauts with oxygen to breathe and holds water to drink at the same time.
Image: Neil Armstrong’s Apollo 11 Spacesuit, Jim Preston, AirAndSpace.si.edu
Secondly, let's talk about the composition of this mysterious garment. As we may notice, the structure is truly complex. The most noticeable part is the helmet, which covers their whole head, yet can still be seen through. Then there are plenty of flexible and removable parts such as gloves, a big part that covers the chest, arm, and leg covers. Underneath the spacesuit, there are actually a couple of more layers. A tight jumpsuit with many small tubes attached, filled with water, which is meant to cool the astronaut's body. Lastly, they wear a backpack containing oxygen, electricity, and which removes carbon dioxide.
The spacesuit is an extremely elaborate, and multifunctional piece of clothing. I recommend diving deep into the details of that, especially on the official NASA website. If it was considered a fashionable suit, it would definitely fall under stern Haute Couture!
Image: Astronaut, Tereza Zdancewicz
NASA, “What Is a Spacesuit?”, https://www.nasa.gov/audience/forstudents/5-8/features/nasa-knows/what-is-a-spacesuit-58.html
Smithsonian Magazine, Neil Armstrong’s Apollo 11 Spacesuit