ISS Astronaut Shows Off SpaceX’s Stylish Spacesuit

Beyond the fact that Hollywood costume designer Jose Fernandez was called in to develop its distinctively superhero look, SpaceX hasn’t released a lot of public information about their high-tech spacesuit. But thanks to Japanese astronaut [Soichi Noguchi], Mission Specialist on the first operational Crew Dragon flight and a current occupant of the International Space Station, we now have a guided tour of the futuristic garment. The fact that it was recorded in space is just an added bonus.

As it was released on his personal YouTube account and isn’t an official NASA production, the video is entirely in Japanese, though most of it can be understood from context. You can try turning on the automatic English translations, but unfortunately they seem to be struggling pretty hard on this video. For example as [Soichi] demonstrates the suit’s helmet, the captions read “A cat that is said to have been designed using a 3D printer.” Thanks, Google.

Still, this video provides us with the most information we’ve ever had about how astronauts store, wear, and operate the suit. [Soichi] starts by showing off the personalized bags that the suits are kept in and then explains how the one-piece suit opens on the bottom so the wearer can pull it on over their head. He also points out the three layers the suit is made of: a Teflon-coated outer shell, a fiber-reinforced core for strength, and an inner airtight garment.

Little details are hidden all over the suit, such as a track built into the heel of the boot that’s used to restrain the astronaut’s feet to the Crew Dragon’s seats. [Soichi] also provides what appears to be the first public view of the umbilical connector on the suit. Hidden under a removable cover, the connector features 14-pins for data and power, a wide port for air circulation, and smaller high-pressure port for nitrox that would presumably be used to inflate the suit should the cabin lose pressure while in flight.

It’s taken an incredible amount of work to get commercial spacecraft such as the Dragon to the point that they can begin ferrying crews to the ISS. This close look at all the details that went into something as seemingly mundane as the suit astronauts wear while riding in their craft is a reminder that nothing about human spaceflight is easy.

14 thoughts on “ISS Astronaut Shows Off SpaceX’s Stylish Spacesuit

    1. There’s a good chance they wear thin “diapers” with this suit, but also, this isn’t intended for long duration wearing. It goes on during liftoff, docking/undocking, and reentry. So ideally you’d only have it on for an hour or two at a time, and afterwards you’d take it off and be able to use the Dragon or ISS’s normal toilet.

      1. Well, it’s meant to help the astronaut survive in the event of an emergency. But it’s the normal flight suit that they wear any time they are actively maneuvering the craft.

    1. This suit is the equivalent of the Sokol soviet pressure suit ( ) or the USA LES ( ). They aren’t designed for space walks, but only to keep the users pressurized in the case that, during launch or reentry, the capsule depressurizes.

      But, AFAIK, the Sokol suits can add an extra, external layer that allows them to be used for space walks (with an umbilical, of course, because they don’t have a backpack). That layer adds thermal isolation, to avoid the wearer to burn when exposed to the sun, or freeze in the parts at shadow, and (I presume) micrometeoroid protection. But it is only something “that I read somewhere”, but can’t put a link because I don’t remember where I read it, sorry…

      1. I thought the bright orange colour was intended to assist in body identification in the event of emergency. Rescue or recovery crews can easily spot bright orange amongst debris, plus it’s easier to locate floating crewmembers if their re-entry lands them in the sea.

        But we already know from the miniscule turn signals in Tesla vehicles (invisible during bright sunlight), and from forcing employees to work at factories during the epidemic, that Elon does not care for the safety of others. Bare minimum, or less if the fines are cheaper than compliance.

Leave a Reply

Please be kind and respectful to help make the comments section excellent. (Comment Policy)

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.