SpaceX Teases Runway-Ready Astronaut Suit

SpaceX astronaut spacesuit next to Crew Dragon capsule (via Elon Musk)

For decades, space travel focused on substance over style. But that is changing.

The lumbering suits of the ’70s are being replaced with more fitted ensembles, as illustrated by early photos of SpaceX’s new astronaut outfit.

Elon Musk last month shared the first image of an operational suit—complete with human hanger and spacecraft backdrop.

The white-and-silver costume has already been “tested to double vacuum pressure,” ensuring the wearer’s safety in case of emergency. Though, as Space.com pointed out, these suits are likely not intended for use outside of the Crew Dragon capsule.

Musk was also quick to point out the difficulty of balancing aesthetic with function—a subtle promise that SpaceX values panache as well as protection.

“Easy to do either separately,” Musk wrote in an Instagram caption. But “incredibly hard” to harmonize.

In three weeks, the picture has racked up more than 407,700 likes, and probably just as many comments—most praising the futuristic suit and Musk’s contribution to the U.S. space race.

SpaceX and Boeing are well on their way to becoming the first private companies to send humans into space; both won contracts with NASA to shuttle people to the International Space Station.

You can’t exactly cruise to Mars wearing jeans and a hoodie, though.

A second look at SpaceX’s modernized suit—a full-body shot next to the Crew Dragon—landed online five days ago, whipping up even more excitement for the future of intergalactic travel (without providing any additional details).

The aerospace manufacturer last year hired Marvel costume designer Jose Fernandez to sculpt the new SpaceX suits.

Musk’s teasers don’t exactly shout superhero-in-space; I’m getting more of a Top Gear Stig vibe. But the stark suit certainly looks more combat-ready than the Boeing Blue outfit intended for NASA astronauts.

Customized to maximize individual protection, capability, and comfort, the Boeing uniform will be worn by all crew members traveling to and from low-Earth orbit destinations.

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