Elon Musk the founder and CEO of Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX), just released a big update for his goal to launch crewed missions to and from the International Space Station and hopefully, other parts of space.
The SpaceX crew who will be boarding Musk’s Dragon Capsule will be travelling in style with the latest SpaceX spacesuit. Bearing little similarities from their counterpart in NASA, the SpaceX spacesuit has a minimalistic and fitting design that is fully functional.
According to the Washington Post, the SpaceX CEO indicated that their latest spacesuit has already been tested and it can withstand the loss of pressure while travelling in space. Aside from the level of functionality and look of the spacesuits, Musk did not reveal other details in his Instagram post. The tech billionaire only mentioned that there will more updates in the coming days and that it was “incredibly hard” to make survivability and aesthetics work together.
NASA’s Commercial Crew Program was started as a cost-savings partnership with the private industry. Its main focus is to help facilitate travels to the International Space Station. Both SpaceX and Boeing, the aeronautics giant, have struggled to meet their deadlines for the partnership and hopefully be certified to fly astronauts by 2019. The unveiling of the SpaceX spacesuit was just on time as both companies are hoping to start their first crewed test flights by next year.
Boeing released the minimalist Boeing Blue spacesuit last January. The crew of their Starliner space capsule will be able to travel space in a lighter, much more flexible and tailored spacesuit, compared to the bulky suits that NASA astronauts have been wearing since the 1960’s.
Both their suits are mainly designed for commercial travel and are not meant for spacewalks, according to The Verge. This is why they were able to create more flexible and lightweight designs, since they do not need the same level of protection from temperature changes, dust and debris that regular astronauts need during a mission. The SpaceX and Boeing Blue will be worn during transport and will be protecting the crew if there is a problem that might cause the capsule to depressurize.
An early design of the SpaceX already made the rounds on Reddit a few months ago and people were quick to point out that it looked quite futuristic. Something out of a sci-fi movie. Elon Musk may or may not agree to this but one thing is for sure, his products are refined since he gives a lot of attention not only to the functionality but also to the simplicity and aesthetics of his designs.
Musk’s penchant for creating sophisticated but highly functional designs can easily be observed in the latest design of his electric car, the Tesla Model 3. All the functions of his new creation can be accessed via a small touch display right beside the steering wheel. According to the Tesla founder and CEO, they deliberately designed the new car to have a simple and clean design since “in the future – really, the future being now- the cars will be increasingly autonomous.”
The SpaceX Dragon Capsule was created to help shuttle cargo to space and they were able to achieve this in 2012. With its existing design, it is possible to configure it to be capable of carrying a crew with seven members.
Perfecting their spacesuit is one of the main goals of Musk since he has plans of going beyond the space station. He has already expressed his interest to launch a manned mission to Mars hopefully by 2025, earlier that what NASA has planned for their timeline.
[Featured Image by ESA/Getty Images]