The world got its first chance to see the future of astronauts suits that may one day become their official outfit
Elon Musk shared on Wednesday a picture of an astronaut wearing a white suit with black paneling, and a helmet with a large, tinted face shield. He posted the picture on Instagram, where he mentioned that the suit is an actual, well-functioning version of what the company will one day offer to astronauts.
“Worth noting that this actually works (not a mockup),” he wrote. “Was incredibly hard to balance esthetics and function.”
The spacesuit has been especially created to be used on SpaceX’s Crew Dragon, which is a new spacecraft that the private company is currently developing. Its main goal will be to ferry astronauts to the space station under contracts with NASA.
SpaceX is competing with Boeing to make history when it comes to becoming the first private company to complete that kind of mission. Until this very moment, only governments have sent humans into orbit.
Unfortunately, the US hasn’t had a certified craft to carry humans into space since NASA took off the Space Shuttle program in 2011; it lead to the need of relying on Russian missions to get its astronauts to and from the space station.
Both Boeing and SpaceX have been making efforts to develop a crew-worthy spacecraft for years. NASA put its trust and faith in both companies by awarding them contracts in 2014 to one day fly crew.
Consequently, both have received missions, and they received $4.2 billion and $2.6 billion respectively.
Now, both Boeing and SpaceX are expected to launch their first crewed missions at almost the same time, possibly next year.