NASA’s astronauts will be looking a little blue in the near future—because of their striking new attire.
Boeing has introduced a line of sleeker, smarter and perhaps most-noticeably, bluer spacewear.
The suits, nick-named the “Boeing Blues,” were designed specifically for those currently being trained for flight in Boeing’s Starliner and SpaceX Dragon capsules – which in addition to having awesome names, will serve as taxi shuttles for those traveling to and from the International Space Station (ISS).
Custom-tailored for each astronaut, the suits are roughly 10 pounds lighter than their bulky orange predecessors, and come equipped with some top-notch features including thinner, more-flexible helmets and gloves that are touch-screen compatible.
“The most important part is that the suit will keep you alive,” astronaut Eric Boe said in a news release. “It is a lot lighter, more form-fitting and it’s simpler, which is always a good thing. Complicated systems have more ways they can break, so simple is better on something like this.”
Though they weren’t designed for activity outside of the shuttles, (sorry folks, no spacewalking in these bad boys just yet) each suit has an automatic pressurization system built-in for emergency situations. Richard Watson, a subsystem manager in NASA’s Commercial Crew Program emphasized that these features were added as “emergency backups” to the many life-support systems incorporated into the shuttles themselves.
NASA officials estimate that the Starliner and SpaceX services will launch sometime within the next two years.