In earlier human space missions we have seen space suits which are really bulky and big in size. But in recent news we saw the latest design by SpaceX, which are seems less bulky and slim as well.

But the question comes now, is it possible to have a space suit as compact as SpaceX's suit ?

Are there such materials available right now with which such suits can be made?

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    $\begingroup$ I'm confused by your question: Given that SpaceX is building such suits it certainly is possible. So you probably meant to ask something else, but what? Can you give more context, please? What is it that you want to know? Whether you can build your own? $\endgroup$
    – DarkDust
    Jul 23, 2018 at 10:51
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    $\begingroup$ Based on Musk's business approach thus far I'd be willing to bet that suit is untested and/or probably worse than NASA's. It really just looks like a marketing gimmick meant to drive up sales for their next phase. Dont let my negativity detract from his pursuit though, least hes moving the ball forward. $\endgroup$
    – anon
    Jul 23, 2018 at 11:08
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    $\begingroup$ These are the equivalent suits from the 60s upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/3/3b/… $\endgroup$
    – user20636
    Jul 23, 2018 at 15:10
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    $\begingroup$ Does the suit need a protection against micrometeroits? Is a liquid cooling undergarment necessary to remove the excess heat from the suit to enable a use of the suit for hours during hard work? $\endgroup$
    – Uwe
    Jul 23, 2018 at 16:03
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    $\begingroup$ @DarkDust It says that SpaceX is designing such suits, that doesn't necessarily mean they are capable of manufacturing them today. $\endgroup$
    – called2voyage
    Jul 23, 2018 at 19:05

2 Answers 2


Here is an article on what NASA had been doing before Musk ever announced his suit.

These suits actually work and in many ways share profile similarities with the virtual concept art you showed.

If memory serves, though, this particular iteration required custom tailoring to their owning astronaut which would be contrary to SpaceX's mission. Though I don't know if they have since fixed it with this latest unveiling.

When it comes to suit design it's not necessarily a question of whether the materials are present; it's more to do with whether the level of engineering is up to the task. The literal army of engineers that go into designing each and every aspect of these suits is unfathomable and very reminiscent of the army of engineers it takes to get a vehicle into orbit (if not more so at this point).

For SpaceX to take a concept consumer grade production version of a form that has taken NASA over 60 years to reach in the span of a few years is a bit hard to believe unless they copy a bunch of it. Is it possible, sure. I just wouldn't hold my breath for space vacations just yet, at the very least 5 years out.

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    $\begingroup$ That article is not what you say it is. Starliner is Boeing's commercial space capsule, equivalent to SpaceX's Dragon 2. The suits in that article are Boeing's comparable unit to SpaceX's suit. Neither are "space suits," so comparisons to space suits are not relevant. $\endgroup$
    – Saiboogu
    Jul 23, 2018 at 21:43

The very bulky suits you saw are those for an EVA, but the Spacex suit is to be used only inside a spaceship. The suits used outside the ISS or on the Moon need a micro-meteorite protection and a cooling system to remove excessive heat from the suit.

The suit shown in the link from JCRM, used for the Mercury project, was not bulky at all. It was the very first space suit worn by American astronauts. But it could be used only within the Mercury capsule and not in space for EVA.

The suits used for Gemini and Apollo were designed for EVA and look more bulky.

The SpaceX suit is designed for short flights; there is no liquid cooling undergarment and no micro-meteorite protection. It is to be used only inside the spaceship and not in an EVA. The suit shown in the news was not pressurized. It would look less slim when worn in a vacuum with operational pressure inside.

No very special materials are needed to build a suit looking like a SpaceX suit. But you can not build a suit for EVA use in this design.


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