With SpaceX in the mix, check out all these modern spacesuit designs

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With SpaceX in the mix, check out all these modern spacesuit designs

SpaceX’s new spacesuit design got photographed for the first time today, and it’s a high-fashion option for extra-atmospheric wear. But SpaceX’s suit isn’t the only option for galactic explorers – a lot of new options have been debuted recently, fueled in part by the glut of interest in commercial crewed spaceflight.

Not all spacesuits are created equal, or with the same use cases in mind, so there’s a fair bit of variation in the incarnations laid out in this gallery. But all of them have to put safety first, since the hope is they’ll help usher in a new era of humans doing work in orbit and beyond.

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SpaceX's Dragon crew spacesuit

It’s got heather gray contrast accents, sleek lines and a full-face tinted visor. This looks like a spacesuit you’d expect on the bridge of a modern Star Trek film adaptation, and it’s designed specifically with style in mind according to SpaceX founder Elon Musk. Like its rockets, SpaceX created its suit in-house.

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Boeing's CST-100 Starliner crew suit

This one’s also a lot sleeker than the most recent active use NASA crew spacesuits. It’s done up in trademark Boeing blue, and offers a lot more mobility for astronauts by design vs. older incarnations. It has an integrated pull over hood helmet, and lots of storage and attach points for tools. Boeing created it with the help of David Clark Company, an aerospace and flight suit specialist provider.

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Boeing Starliner suit boots

The boots for the CST-100 Starliner suit on the previous slide merit their own honorable mention – these were co-designed with Reebok, and are likely to be an instant collector’s item when Reebok inevitably sells consumer versions.

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NASA's prototype Z-2 suit

This is a prototype created by NASA in 2014, so it’s understandably a bit dated looking. The Z-2 won the popular vote in a contest to see which prototype would be used to help guide the design of an eventual Mars astronaut outfit. This one features a hard upper and is clearly aimed more at extra-vehicular activity (EVA) vs. the previous two, which are made more for sitting inside a spacecraft or station.

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Virgin Galactic and Y-3 space apparel

Virgin Galactic is going very lightweight with its approach. It’s teaming up with Japanese design icon Yohji Yamamoto and Adidas, which together put out the Y-3 garment brand, to create flight suits and ground crew staff outfits. This flight suit design prototype was revealed last year, and I’d probably wear one out on the street without thinking twice to be honest.

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Virgin Galactic x Y-3 space boots

Again, the boots for the Virgin Galactic suit merit their own slide. These are hot to trot, and SpaceX will have to try really hard to match them for pure cool factor. Maybe a collab with White Mountaineering is in order?

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Final Frontier Design IVA space suit

This is a suit designed for commercial use, combining lightweight materials with high mobility design and relatively inexpensive component costs. The idea is to make a spacesuit that allows for movement while also offering protection, and allowing astronauts to use tools. There’s a reason it looks like Boeing’s suit in a lot of ways, since both were designed with similar goals in mind.

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The MX-2 MARS suit

Contrary to its name, the MX-2 isn’t actually going to Mars anytime soon. It’s a research and simulation suit that astronauts enter from the rear, which is designed to help give researchers and students experience in EVA-like conditions, in a suit that doesn’t have the expense of a real EVA-capable suit designed for space. Possibly the most interesting thing about this spacesuit design: It includes a Mac mini built right into the suit itself.

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Rocket suit for dogs

This is actually just my dog in a rocket suit designed for a toddler. She enjoys dressing up quite a bit, so don’t worry about her comfort level which I assure you is through the roof. This suit isn’t suitable for either EVA or even high-altitude flight, but its adorability quotient is quite high.

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