On Wednesday, Elon Musk posted the first images of SpaceX’s spacesuit to his Instagram account. The sleek white and silver suit is intended for use onboard the Dragon Capsule that will one day soon enough send astronauts to the International Space Station (ISS) and back.
Public reception has been overwhelmingly positive since the spacesuit resembles more closely what people think this kind of specialized attire should look like by now. That is, of course, something straight out of a sci-fi movie instead of the bulky retro suits we use up until these days.
Boeing is racing SpaceX in the private space travel industry, and so far it has won the right to claim a significant milestone: being the first company to send crew up to the ISS in one of their CST-100 capsules. Those astronauts, however, will be wearing a distinct blue and gray Starliner suits.
SpaceX’s suits aren’t made for moonwalking
There is a significant fan base for all projects led by Elon Musk, but SpaceX has one of the most passionate communities out there for what the achievements of the firm mean for the advancement of mainstream space travel.
As such, SpaceX’s space suit caused quite an impact on social media and across media outlets after its publication. In all honesty, the suit looks great: it is form-fitting, it has no visible valves or ugly contraptions, and it even goes light on company branding.
Musk himself pointed out that it was “incredibly hard to balance aesthetics and function,” a paradigm that most space agencies can’t be bothered with. Choosing functionality over style is precisely how we got the traditional space suit look, but now we have the technology to bring some well-deserved coolness to it.
Nevertheless, don’t expect to go out on a space mission looking as fly as this. The SpaceX suits are exclusively for in-capsule wearing, and they are designed to keep astronauts safe and counterbalance changes in capsule pressure in case of unexpected or emergency depressurization scenarios.
First picture of SpaceX spacesuit. More in days to follow. Worth noting that this actually works… https://t.co/5ZtqkKiTQX
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) August 23, 2017
People are loving commercial space travel
And speaking of coolness, the prospect of wearing one of these suits has got some people fueling up the hype for Elon Musk to make it to infinity and beyond. Launches and landings of reusable Falcon rockets are massively followed online, and people are optimistic about what SpaceX can do if given the opportunity.
Some of them are so blind-trusting on the issue that they have signed up for a quick trip around the Moon courtesy of the company’s Dragon capsule. Two unidentified (and probably very rich) folks have paid hundreds of thousands of dollars for a seat at the capsule and the journey of a lifetime launching next year.