There are some pressure suits primarily for use inside spacecraft and some for use during EVAs. Currently how many pressure suits are used or will be used in the near future; let's say from 5 year back (2015) to with some level of certainty within the next five years?

I know there may be cases where it's difficult to say for sure if a current design will be used within the next five years, for the purposes of this question be a bit conservative; if something is under active development and working (pressure/vacuum tested (but not necessarily to double-vacuum), people can walk around in it) prototypes have been publicized, then it's probably okay. If it's still in the fashion designer stage, then it probably isn't. Commercial and government space agency suits both would count.

I would suppose there would be Russian, Chinese, European and American suits at least.

  • $\begingroup$ A new EVA suit model should not only be pressure tested, the cooling capacity should be tested in a vacuum chamber with simulated sunlight. An overheated astronaut could not do his work, severe overheating could kill him. $\endgroup$
    – Uwe
    Jun 16, 2020 at 10:55
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    $\begingroup$ Are you asking about models/types or individual units? The way it's phrased sounds like the latter but I don't think that's answerable if so. $\endgroup$ Jun 16, 2020 at 12:01
  • $\begingroup$ It's probably not enough for an own answer (as there is already a pretty lengthy answer), but there is also the commercial Final Frontier Design Spacesuits. I do not know if any of them have flown yet, but they do seem to have pretty far developed IVA/EVA suits. $\endgroup$
    – David-H-K
    Jun 16, 2020 at 16:55
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    $\begingroup$ @OrganicMarble I meant it in the answerable rather than the unanswerable way. If I'd written "How many... suit designs" or "...models" then if a design was upgraded it might be considered as two designs, so I could not figure out a better way to word it. It looks like this answer assumes that I'd asked an answerable question. If you can suggest a better/clearer wording that doesn't interfere with the existing answer please go ahead and update the question. Thanks! $\endgroup$
    – uhoh
    Jun 17, 2020 at 0:25

1 Answer 1


I'm counting any current as at least flown in space once. IVAs are for use inside of a vehicle in the event of an emergency depressurization or similar event, EVAs are for use outside of a vehicle.

Current IVAs

  • Soyuz Sokol
  • Chinese Shenzhou
  • Dragon's crew
  • Starliner Crew

Current EVA

  • Russian Orlan
  • US EMU

Near Future IVA

  • Orion Crew Survival System

Near Future EVA

There are a number of other ones that have been in some form of development as well, but these are by far the best developed ones. None of the other ones I believe have actually had pressurized tests that were high enough to actually work in space. I believe any one of these could be used for a real EVA today if required, although a bit more R&D is desired before actual use.

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    $\begingroup$ I don't think the MIT Bio suit will be ready for an EVA in near future. Did they do a successful vacuum chamber test yet? $\endgroup$
    – Uwe
    Jun 16, 2020 at 13:22
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    $\begingroup$ They have done vacuum chamber tests, but it seems like it didn't work as well as desired. Still, it is one of the better developed ones, probably the best that isn't directly in control of a space agency. $\endgroup$
    – PearsonArtPhoto
    Jun 16, 2020 at 13:28
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    $\begingroup$ afaik, the MIT Bio-Suit is currently on hold/in limbo--the technology has been demonstrated to some extent but there hasn't really been any movement for the past couple years (aside from occasionally testing the waters for funding). The next step in the project would be for someone to fund it and NASA is busy with the Z-2 currently/don't seem to be looking for a new suit. $\endgroup$
    – Dragongeek
    Jun 16, 2020 at 15:25
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    $\begingroup$ Once the MIT professor who was working on it got a NASA HQ job all progress seemed to stop. There may be a moral there... $\endgroup$ Jun 16, 2020 at 16:03
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    $\begingroup$ Pity. It's a neat concept, but... $\endgroup$
    – PearsonArtPhoto
    Jun 16, 2020 at 16:43

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