Questions tagged [spacesuits]

Questions regarding the spacesuits that astronauts wear whilst in space

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5 votes
1 answer
842 views

How can space suits hold a pressure when they're handsewn?

Whenever I saw a clip about making spacesuits they always emphasized that space suits, since day one, were sewn by-hand at some particular company in Delaware. How can handsewn anything maintain 5 psi?...
3 votes
0 answers
129 views

Why the Snoopy Cap rather than a conventional headset?

Why do American astronauts wear the "snoopy cap" elastic hood with communications headset rather than a more conventional style of headset that doesn't have a hood? Does the cap provide ...
13 votes
1 answer
3k views

Why is there a white panel in astronaut’s fabric headcover they wear inside the hard helmet?

Astronauts always have a black fabric headcover worn over their hair or scalp, when they are wearing the spacesuit and helmet for takeoff or EVAs. There’s always a white panel that looks about 3 ...
5 votes
1 answer
909 views

How can space suit gloves be improved?

Gloves on space suits are hard to use because of their high gas pressure relative to the surrounding vacuum. It's simply strenuous to bend the fingers and astronauts are even said to lose their nails ...
17 votes
2 answers
2k views

What's the normal leakage rate for a space suit?

What's the normal leakage rate for a space suit? For a modern (as in, the model is still in use today) EVA suit in normal condition, undamaged, etc. If there is a wide variation in leak rates for ...
4 votes
1 answer
82 views

Draper Labs' Control Moment Gyroscope Spacesuit

Back in 2013/2014 Draper Laboratory announced that they were designing and testing a "spacesuit jetpack" that employed control moment gyroscopes (CMG) to allow astronauts to preform EVAs ...
7 votes
1 answer
152 views

Space Suit for Artemis, why two contracts instead of only one?

NASA has selected two companies to make spacesuits for its Artemis moon program and future International Space Station (ISS) missions. Teams led by Axiom Space and Collins Aerospace (with ILC Dover ...
27 votes
5 answers
15k views

What does "double vacuum pressure" mean in space-suit testing?

There was news of the new SpaceX space suit in Reddit and now a mention in Elon Musk's Instagram where he says: First picture of SpaceX spacesuit. More in days to follow. Worth noting that this ...
1 vote
2 answers
721 views

Are the materials presently available to make the SpaceX space suit?

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. ...
7 votes
1 answer
211 views

Moon Suit to be used for the Artemis III mission?

The Moon landing mission Artemis III is scheduled for launch in 2025. It will be the first Lunar crewed mission after Apollo. What is the development state of the moon suit to be used for moonwalks ...
23 votes
1 answer
2k views

Astronauts make a lot of CH₄ and some H₂ as well; do space capsules and space stations have systems to remove these?

While not as much as ruminants, humans emit methane, CH4, natural gas, etc. regularly. While it is less known, we can also emit hydrogen as H2. What are the sources of molecular hydrogen in human ...
7 votes
1 answer
228 views

Do any spacesuit designs (including prototypes, conceptual, etc) use radiators rather than open-loop cooling?

Answers to: How have space suits dissipated the heat removed from astronauts? explain how USA suits currently use open-loop cooling. Typically, space suits must dissipate several hundred watts of heat ...
3 votes
2 answers
397 views

Did an astronaut on the Moon ever fall on his back?

I am curious to know if an astronaut on the Moon ever fell backwards and landed on his back. I have seen many photographs and videos of astronauts who accidentally tripped or lost their balance and ...
1 vote
1 answer
86 views

Do you need to operate laptop computers to run the ISS SSRMS robots Canadarm2 & Dextre? What if there's a pressure loss and you're wearing a suit?

Comments and to some extent the current answer to If an ISS emergency requires pressure suits temporarily, can they still use the laptops? Move the cursor? address a highly unlikely scenario where a ...
17 votes
2 answers
3k views

How did astronauts tie the laces on their gloves?

I've been looking through images from the Smithsonian regarding early space exploration. In particular, I found this picture of a spacesuit glove, that has laces on it. In the picture's description, ...
12 votes
1 answer
465 views

Why do EVA suits have legs?

Why do EVA suits have legs? Planetary exploration suits (PES) obviously need legs. Spacesuits with legs are “a classic icon of human space exploration” and a requirement for mobility. https://www....
5 votes
2 answers
178 views

Non-biological end effectors (hands) in spacesuit design

Designing the 'end effectors' or gloves of a spacesuit is notoriously difficult. Hands have are extremely flexible and are the primary interface that humans use to interact physically with the world. ...
1 vote
0 answers
135 views

Pressurized gloves have significant limitations. What are objective advantages/disadvantages of the alternatives? [closed]

Conventional EVA suits suffer from mobility and tactile sensory limitations due to their pressurization. Any articulated container which changes volume with motion will resist motion if pressurized. ...
11 votes
2 answers
622 views

How are Rotating Joints in a Spacesuit Gas-tight?

In Spacesuits, especially in newer ones like the Exploration Extravehicular Mobility Unit (xEMU), there are a large number of rotating joints at different portions like wrists, arms, torso, etc. ...
23 votes
2 answers
6k views

Why aren't spacecraft and spacesuits pressurised to 2.5 psi (17 kPa) of pure oxygen?

Today 1 atm (101.3 kPa, 14.7 psi) with sea level composition is most commonly used on spacecraft to avoid fire hazards like in Apollo 1 (not that it would have helped the Apollo 1 crew as they couldn'...
29 votes
1 answer
3k views

What are the Advantages of having a Double-pane Space Helmet?

In the following image of Exploration Extravehicular Mobility Unit (xEMU) or Artemis Generation Space Suit, it can be seen the helmet contains double-pane of glass (inside the black rectangle) What ...
4 votes
2 answers
153 views

How long can astronauts wearing Dragon capsule suits walk around unconnected to water coolers?

At various moments in the NASA video NASA’s SpaceX Crew-3 Astronauts Launch to the Space Station astronauts are shown standing or walking or otherwise posing for the camera in their Dragon capsule ...
14 votes
1 answer
621 views

How does it feel to breathe 100% oxygen at low pressure?

Some space suits are designed to provide an atmosphere of 100% oxygen but at a reduced air pressure about 20% that of sea level. Is breathing in such a suit uncomfortable? It seems like having such a ...
4 votes
1 answer
119 views

Experience of breathing regular air vs. Nitrox vs pure oxygen at 4.3 psi?

Has any astronaut/cosmonaut described a difference in the feeling of breathing pure oxygen at 4.3 psi in a spacesuit compared breathing regular air at sea level or even to Nitrox used in the Neutral ...
7 votes
2 answers
703 views

Could you "hose wash" a space suit on the Moon or Mars?

There are some concerns about Lunar dust attaching to the space suits during the Apollo missions. So Suitports are being developed. On Earth, cars get pretty dirty too, but a car wash solves that. ...
42 votes
1 answer
6k views

What is the text on Neil Armstrong's space suit's left glove?

I was looking at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum's collection, and Neil Armstrong's Apollo 11 spacesuit has some text written on the left glove. It looks like some sort of instructions, ...
3 votes
1 answer
108 views

What was the first Soviet/Russian spacesuit to use closed-loop ventilation?

The spacesuit used for the first spacewalk used open-loop ventilation, venting exhaust gases into space: On reaching orbit in Voskhod 2, Leonov and Belyayev attached the EVA backpack to Leonov's ...
13 votes
1 answer
2k views

What spacesuit helmet is this?

There's a classic series of black-and-white photos from the mid-80s showing early shuttle astronaut Anna Fisher in a helmet; one was reportedly on the cover of Life magazine. Image source: reddit, ...
2 votes
4 answers
347 views

How far are space-walking helmet faceplates from the eyes? How far will I have to hold my "space binoculars" from my eyes during a space walk?

I'm on a space walk and comet Kohoutek is passing by and I've brought my specially designed space binoculars with me to look at it. I left my Nikon Monarch 8x42 binoculars inside because with an eye ...
14 votes
2 answers
1k views

Are SpaceX new space suits inferior to existing ones in terms of usability?

There is an article in Russian "Why do the American space suits look so different from Russian ones?" which claims that the new SpaceX suits are designed for looks, and have several issues, which, ...
2 votes
1 answer
155 views

Atmosphere inside a space capsule and need for spacesuits

Was the internal atmosphere of Mercury capsule and CSMs of Apollo missions filled with pure oxygen at low pressure, and was the ambiance controlled to match closely to that on earth (e.g. humidity, ...
1 vote
0 answers
79 views

What are Virgin Galactic Space Suits for? What do they do? What don't they do?

In the CNN video linked below the reporter mentions to Unity 22's Astronaut 004 Sirisha Bandla: When people think of Virgin Galactic, they’re thinking of giving people new astronaut wings like the ...
9 votes
6 answers
1k views

Will suits worn on Mars lose kilograms of "expendable water" each time they are used?

In this excellent answer to How have space suits dissipated the heat removed from astronauts? I learned that space suits from the Apollo missions and even when used in space walks from the ISS today ...
24 votes
4 answers
3k views

In simple terms, how does the way space suits manage breathable gas differ from how scuba gear does it?

I say "breathable gas" because what's in the tank can be a variety of mixtures and I don't know a single word for gas mixture you can safely breathe. less scientific or clinical sounding ...
12 votes
2 answers
2k views

Would've the CO2 scrubbers failed before the O2 supply ran out during an Apollo moonwalk?

This absurd video on Reddit of the Earth blowing up while Apollo astronauts were walking on the Moon got me thinking. Assuming something catastrophic happened to the Lunar Module the moment the two ...
17 votes
1 answer
3k views

Where exactly are the Apollo space suit sublimators venting steam into space? is there a photo of an astronaut in space that shows the opening?

This excellent answer to How have space suits dissipated the heat removed from astronauts? shows a diagram including the sublimator unit in the red square where the phase transition of water from ...
11 votes
1 answer
5k views

How have space suits dissipated the heat removed from astronauts?

I never thought about this until reading the comments below this answer. To radiate something like 150W (a very conservative lower limit of human + suit systems heat production - see @Uwe 's comment ...
20 votes
1 answer
3k views

How was the "female" SK-2 different from the "male" SK-1 spacesuit?

The SK-1 was the spacesuit worn on the Vostok 1-5 flights. The same article describes the SK-2 suit as "[a]lmost exactly the same as the SK-1 but designed for a woman". It was worn by ...
7 votes
1 answer
7k views

Who put their spacesuit boots on the wrong feet?

Was just reading Mike Massimino's memoir Spaceman and came across this fascinating line: Another time a spacewalker - and this is a true story - accidentally put his right boot on his left foot ...
1 vote
1 answer
420 views

What are the quickdraws for around the torsos of the crew-1 crew?

From a NASA tweet we can see the crew exiting, with a pair of quickdraws around their chest: Oddly, everyone seems to get a different model: What are these used for?
14 votes
8 answers
8k views

Would a duct tape spacesuit be practical?

Spoilers ahead for season 2 of For All Mankind. Essentially duct tape wrapped around the body, over clothing which looks like standard NASA jumpsuits for pressurized environments onboard spacecraft. ...
32 votes
3 answers
9k views

Why do astronauts wear spacesuits during launch?

I have noticed that astronauts in every launch I've found wear a spacesuit during launch, like this example from the shuttle. I don't understand this. What kind of problem could cause loss of cabin ...
2 votes
2 answers
239 views

What mission is this Chris Hadfield photo associated with and what is the location? And what is that thing?

Many, many astronauts have gone on to be wonderful orators, educators, advocates for science, education and positive thinking, Major Tom Colonel (ret) and (fmr) ISS Commander Chris Hadfield is just ...
0 votes
1 answer
121 views

Sealing of hatches of Spacecraft capsule, LM and spacesuits

Was there any "plan B" / solution, in case sealing of capsule hatch, LM hatch and spacesuit helmet failed during Apollo missions or any other spacecraft? How did NASA ensure a failproof ...
12 votes
1 answer
1k views

Was the SK-1 spacesuit tested in flight prior to Gagarin's historic mission?

April 12 is the 60th anniversary of the first human spaceflight, Vostok 1. As no human had previously been to space, it was also a test of the SK-1 spacesuit that cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin wore. This ...
5 votes
1 answer
387 views

What is the use of a helium tank in this very early space suit design?

The answer to this question included this image from a book by Wernher von Braun he wrote in 1960. This space suit design misses a micro meteroite protection as well as liquid cooling to remove ...
9 votes
2 answers
1k views

Was there ever a suitcase-sized spacesuit?

Were there any spacesuit designs small enough to fit inside a suitcase? Such a suit might be useful in emergencies or as a backup suit. Prototypes are fine. Okay to exclude the helmet if it is too ...
1 vote
0 answers
53 views

How many space suit types could be used at the ISS when Starliner, Crew Dragon and Soyuz are all active?

I just watched the CBS news video SpaceX and Boeing competing to capture the American flag in space about the "race to bring the flag home". It got me wondering about the variety of suits. I lose ...
13 votes
2 answers
842 views

Why don't astronaut helmets fog up? What's the chemistry and thermodynamics behind keeping the field of view clear even during heavy breathing?

Some space walking involves exercise (e.g. moving heavy stuff around) and the outside surface of a faceplate is constantly radiating its heat out into space. At night that thermal radiation is not ...
3 votes
1 answer
217 views

How will the future Mars Space Suit Helmet design protect Astronauts from Martian Radiation?

Mars Space Suit Helmet Visor's were mostly made up of polycarbonate [1], the same material used for EMU's visor for performing EVA in earth orbit. Meanwhile, Mars' radiation is 2.5x higher. How are we ...

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