Elon Musk unveiled the SpaceX space suit on Wednesday. Musk posted a picture of the suit to Instagram, where he made sure to alert his followers that it “actually works.” he suit itself is very white and very spacey, and Musk acknowledges that it was “incredibly hard” to balance the suit’s look and its function.
“First picture of SpaceX spacesuit,” Musk said. “More in days to follow. Worth noting that this actually works (not a mockup). Already tested to double vacuum pressure. Was incredibly hard to balance esthetics [sic] and function. Easy to do either separately.”
Musk didn’t specify, but according to tech website Verve , the SpaceX suits are meant to be worn by astronauts when riding inside the company’s Dragon Capsule. They’re pressure suits, so they’re not meant for spacewalks, but are worn by astronauts during transport in case the capsule depressurizes. The suits will be worn by NASA astronauts for the commercial crew program when SpaceX starts launching people to and from the International Space Station. In January, Boeing revealed its own spacesuit design that astronauts will wear on route to the ISS.
SpaceX notably chose to develop their own suit for their astronauts in-house, which is different from Boeing’s approach, where it partnered with spacesuit specialist David Clark Company, as reported by TechCrunch. That’s par for the course for SpaceX, however, which has brought a lot of its design and manufacturing in-house in order to lower costs and achieve greater control over the supply chain.