SpaceX has given everyone an inside-scoop of the way it designs spacesuits and why — in a YouTube video describing them as unique spacesuits made to perfectly complement the Dragon spacecraft on functional and aesthetic levels.
SpaceX gives inside-scoop on spacesuit design
When SpaceX first set out to send humans to space aboard its novel spacecraft, it designed and created its spacesuits in-house, Tech Crunch reports. This is a major break with tradition — NASA spacesuits typically involve collaboration with specialist contractors with a long accomplished history to inform the projects.
In the new video, SpaceX lets us peer into why they decided on the DIY route — in addition to how their unique and futuristic spacesuits were designed to match the look and functions of the Dragon spacecraft.
We're led through the video via SpaceX's Chris Trigg — Space Suits and Crew Equipment Manager — and Maria Sundeen — Lead Space Suit Specialist. They speak about concept, design, and production processes for the SpaceX suit — which NASA astronauts Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken both wore on their Demo-2 mission launch aboard the Dragon to the International Space Station at the end of May.
Of course, they'll wear the suits again upon returning to Earth.
SpaceX's spacesuits integrate with Dragon spacecraft
In the video, Trigg says the suit is merely one part of a larger system that integrates the Dragon crew seat. The suit plugs into the seats and gives the astronauts everything they need automatically. He adds the theory behind SpaceX's helmet design, and why the company needs gloves that pressurize and protect without hindering touchscreen interfacing — to work with control surfaces inside the Dragon spacecraft.
The Dragon spacecraft is due to return from the ISS on August 1, making a splashdown in the Atlantic Ocean with the two astronauts on August 2 — wearing SpaceX's spacesuits and making the return in friendly weather conditions, we hope.