Questions tagged [spacesuits]

Questions regarding the spacesuits that astronauts wear whilst in space

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How do astronauts on EVA deal with nose itching?

It must be absolutely torturous if your nose starts itching and you can't scratch it for several hours, when you're on EVA. How do astronauts deal with it? Are they undergoing a special training, or ...
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66 votes
1 answer
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Why do astronauts wear heels?

I was reading another question on the site when I noticed the EVA suit sports heels. Why do they put heels on space suits? (cropped detailed view)
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51 votes
5 answers
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How possible are 'space jumps'?

Have you seen the first of the two new Star Trek movies? Kirk (Chris Pine), Sulu (John Cho) and a red shirt perform something really awesome in this film: They jump from space down to a planet, ...
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42 votes
1 answer
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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, ...
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34 votes
2 answers
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How do ISS astronauts "get their stripes"?

This answer shows two astronauts on a spacewalk outside the ISS. The caption reads: Rick Mastracchio as EV1 (red stripes) and Mike Hopkins as EV2 (no stripes) leaving the airlock during US EVA-24 (...
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32 votes
3 answers
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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 ...
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29 votes
1 answer
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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 ...
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28 votes
1 answer
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What sounds do astronauts hear inside their helmets during an EVA?

Besides the communications over the headsets, do astronauts hear any other sounds inside their helmets? Do they hear their own breath? Are there any mechanical sounds audible? Does the circulating ...
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27 votes
5 answers
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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 ...
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24 votes
4 answers
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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 ...
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24 votes
3 answers
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How do EVA suits manage water excretion?

This answer immediately sparked the question in my mind of how space suits manage water excretion from the person wearing them. I am aware that the astronauts had to wear diapers since one may need to ...
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23 votes
2 answers
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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'...
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23 votes
3 answers
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Does Mars space suit have to be pressurized?

Various sci-fi movies treat Mars atmosphere differently, anywhere between "you just need oxygen rebreather" and "Your eyes will pop out and your head will explode". Meanwhile, I haven't seen any solid ...
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23 votes
1 answer
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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 ...
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23 votes
1 answer
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Do Astronauts lose finger nails in space?

I recently heard that space suit gloves can cause Astronauts to lose their finger nails. We have an answer that includes a link to a 2010 article that says in extreme cases, detach from their ...
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21 votes
3 answers
24k views

Puncturing space suit during EVA. What would happen?

What would happen, if the space suit of a spacewalking crew was punctured during the extravehicular activity (EVA)? What are the chances of this happening? Has this already happened to anyone in the ...
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20 votes
2 answers
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How would an astronaut's hand react to a hard vacuum?

What would happen if an astronaut took his/her glove off in space but had the rest of their body completely sealed off? My guess is that the hand would start to boil or freeze depending on location.
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20 votes
1 answer
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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 ...
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18 votes
2 answers
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Do astronauts on board the ISS have a backup spacesuit?

Do astronauts on the International Space Station have a backup spacesuit with them so that they could use it in case of any malfunction with one of the spacesuits? If so, how many spacesuits does ...
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17 votes
2 answers
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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, ...
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1 answer
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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 ...
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17 votes
2 answers
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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 ...
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17 votes
1 answer
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How much temperature control would an EVA suit on Mars need?

The average surface temperature on Mars is -55°C and it can go down to -130°C. These are temperatures which sound deadly at first. But on the other hand, the atmospheric pressure on Mars is just 0.63% ...
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16 votes
2 answers
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What was the source of the fluid in Luca Parmitano's suit?

There has been a lot of press (example) and commentary about the near drowning in space of Italian astronaut Luca Parmitano on July 16, 2013. We have a question Would the blast clearing technique ...
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16 votes
1 answer
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Why is the Sokol spacesuit considered inadequate for EVA?

According to the Wikipedia article on the Sokol spacesuit, The Sokol space suit (Russian: Cокол, Falcon) is a type of Russian space suit, worn by all who fly on the Soyuz spacecraft. It was ...
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16 votes
1 answer
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Is there any reason why American spacesuits color changed over years?

From Mercury silver suits to orange Space Shuttle ones, color of space suits have changed over years. Is there any reason for it?
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16 votes
1 answer
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If a living person had been inside Starman's suit, would the launch have been survivable?

The spacesuit in the falcon heavy test launch was a genuine test article. Assuming the suit performed nominally could a person have ridden the roadster into space?
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16 votes
1 answer
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What is the power requirement of a spacesuit?

A spacesuit is a fairly easily identifiable piece of equipment in spacecraft. It's purpose is to keep it's interior distinct from the exterior in terms of the pressure, and temperature differentials ...
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15 votes
1 answer
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Are the EVA suits used in the ISS and in the NBL same or different?

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 ...
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15 votes
1 answer
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What was the space helmet "vomit port"?

Based upon centrifuge test results, MSC directed Hamilton Standard to modify the space suit helmet. The vomitus port and other obstructions to the line of sight in the downward direction were deleted....
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15 votes
1 answer
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Do American astronauts wear Sokol space suits when flying on a Soyuz?

The Wikipedia article on the Sokol space suit seems to suggest that all personel traveling on a Soyuz vehicle must wear a Russian made spacesuit: Each Soyuz crew member is provided with a made-to-...
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15 votes
3 answers
3k views

What is the minimum pressure human body can live in, with head protected?

One fundamental problem of spacesuits is stiffnes due to air pressure; at around 0.3atm, with atmosphere of pure oxygen, they grant enough oxygen for breathing, and more than enough pressure to ...
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14 votes
8 answers
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instead of pressurizing an entire spacesuit with oxygen could oxygen just pressurize the head and the rest of the body be pressurized with water?

Instead the body would be kept from boiling by a thin layer of water that was held down by oxygen up at the head. 1 gallon of water is 8lbs which per inch is what the latest spacesuit is designed to ...
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14 votes
2 answers
5k views

Have any space suits (not) used "pulsed magnetic devices"?

A currently trending question on Skeptics.se references a website that makes the claim that: In Yuri Gagarin’s historic flight to space, he returned in near critical condition after only one hour ...
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14 votes
8 answers
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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. ...
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14 votes
3 answers
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Why couldn't Luca Parmitano just drink that water?

Of course, I am asking about the EVA incident where the Luca's spacesuit malfunctioned and his helmet filled up with water nearly drowning him. I'm really sorry, I am not assuming the mission centre ...
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14 votes
2 answers
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Do astronauts wear G-Suits during the launch?

Nowadays, rocket launches (to the ISS) accelerate astronauts at a maximum of around 3 to 4g (source). I have seen quite a few ...
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14 votes
1 answer
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Do space suits measure "methane" levels or other biological gases?

A comment below Was “I have the farts, again” broadcast from the Moon to the whole world? links to this humorous video clip of the 1997 comedy movie RocketMan about astronauts on Mars. Personnel on ...
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14 votes
1 answer
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Could helmet-fogging occur on Mars, or on any other celestial body with an atmosphere?

When I drive in cold/wet weather the state of the roads is cause for concern. But more worrying is the risk of the wind-screen fogging over when least it should. Space/Earth orbit is a different ...
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14 votes
1 answer
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Could an EVA Suit meant for Mars be used for EVA on another celestial, or vice-versa?

A quick follow-up to What is the power requirement of a spacesuit? The Apollo 11 crew were in a vacuum out on Luna; their space-suits fulfilled the purpose of a basic space-suit about which Wikipedia ...
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14 votes
2 answers
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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, ...
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14 votes
2 answers
750 views

Why use fingers in EVA suits?

I was watching a documentary recently on the development of space suits, both of IVA and EVA. The program made it clear that the most difficult thing was the development of the gloves. The ...
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14 votes
1 answer
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Nose-scratching Velcro in spacesuits: hook side or loop side?

This answer states One of the more innovative uses of Velcro included putting a patch into EVA suits to assist in scratching the astronaut's nose. Considering that Velcro has two different ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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13 votes
2 answers
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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 ...
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13 votes
2 answers
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Why is the EMU space suit pressurized to 4.3 psi specifically?

Wikipedia claims that space suits that use pure oxygen are pressurized to 4.7 psi, instead of 3.0 psi, to account for carbon dioxide and water vapor pressure as per the alveolar gas equation (although ...
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1 answer
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Did they manufacture six space suits for Apollo astronaut James A. Lovell?

An Apollo astronaut got three space suits, one for training on Earth, one for flight and one as backup. James A. Lovell did fly on Apollo 8 as Command Module pilot and on Apollo 13 as Mission ...
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13 votes
2 answers
532 views

Can modern EVA spacesuit be put on/taken off by single person, without assistance?

Watching TV streams of NASA spacewalks I note that at least one extra crew member helps two spacewalkers before their excursion and after it. Can modern EVA spacesuit be put on/taken off by single ...
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13 votes
2 answers
773 views

What level of protection is required for spacewalkers?

If you're going on a space walk, you need to be shielded from cosmic rays, temperature, and possibly other issues. What components of cosmic rays are dangerous? What sort of protection is used to ...
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