Are the space suits used in the International Space Station (ISS) and in the Neutral Buoyancy Lab (NBL) same or different? They look similar, but they are used in two different media - one in a vacuum environment and the other underwater. Is the one used in NBL waterproof, or the EVA suits are generally waterproof by design (especially the electronics, since water and electronics are bad friends)?


1 Answer 1


The suits used in the NBL are Class III "training only".

The Display and Control Module (control panel on the chest), the life support backpack, and the SAFER self-rescue unit are mocked-up.

Breathing air is supplied via an umbilical and bouyancy weigh-outs are added to the exterior of the suit.

So: the soft goods (arms, legs, gloves, boots), the helmet, and the Hard Upper Torso are flight-like, but not the working parts.

Source: https://www.semanticscholar.org/paper/Extravehicular-Mobility-Unit-Training-Suit-Symptom-Strauss/564ae7a2ed6a8343afc8016d1206db7a4f0691e7

This picture of a crewperson in the NBL shows the bouyancy weigh-outs on her calves and the breathing-air umbilical.

enter image description here

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Wish I was on a good PC so I could add pictures :( $\endgroup$ Commented Nov 6, 2019 at 13:27
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ No problem. Please take your time :) $\endgroup$
    – Vishnu
    Commented Nov 6, 2019 at 13:28

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