When SpaceX set out to fly humans on board its spacecraft, it decided to create its own spacesuit in-house. That’s a very different approach from most spacesuit projects, including those at NASA, which typically involve tapping outside specialist contractors with a long history of experience to help with the work. In a new video, SpaceX provides a look at why they took on that task themselves, and how their unique and modern-looking spacesuits are designed to be the perfect complement to their Dragon spacecraft, both aesthetically and functionally.
SpaceX’s Chris Trigg, Space Suits and Crew Equipment Manager, and Maria Sundeen, Lead Space Suit Specialist, take you through the concept, design and production process for the SpaceX suit, which was worn by NASA astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley on their launch to the International Space Station aboard Dragon at the end of May. They’ll don them again later this week for the return trip.
Trigg notes that the suit is really one part of a system that includes the Dragon crew seat, and is designed to plug in and automatically provide them everything they need. He also explains the thinking behind the helmet design, and why they needed to create gloves that provide pressurization and protection while also offering touchscreen compatibility to work with the Dragon’s control surfaces.
As mentioned, Dragon is set to come back from the ISS on August 1, splashing down in the Atlantic Ocean with astronauts on board on August 2, provided weather and everything else cooperates.