SpaceX is already a big name in commercial spaceflight, but the company has yet to get its manned missions off the ground. A number of setbacks have delayed SpaceX’s manned test flights until 2018, but Elon Musk is already teasing what the crews of SpaceX flights will wear during their extraterrestrial journeys.
The gear, which Musk called simply the “SpaceX spacesuit,” is quite an eye-catching getup, but Musk promises that it’s a perfect marriage of both form and function.
“First picture of SpaceX spacesuit,” Musk said in the photo’s caption on Instagram. “More in days to follow. Worth noting that this actually works (not a mockup). Already tested to double vacuum pressure. Was incredibly hard to balance esthetics and function. Easy to do either separately.”
The suit is most definitely a sharp-looking outfit, and looks more like something you’d see in a futuristic sci-fi movie than anything an astronaut would wear today. As The Verge notes, the suit is meant to be worn during the trip between Earth and the International Space Station as a backup safety measure in the event of capsule depressurization — that is, it’s not the kind of gear intended to be worn during spacewalks, which makes it slightly less awesome.
SpaceX has been on something of a roll lately, with successful launches and recoveries of its reusable rocket stages becoming business as usual for the startup. The first manned flight to the ISS will once again be a massive challenge for the company and, if it goes off without a hitch, will undoubtedly be hailed as a monumental achievement. The company hasn’t revealed its exact timeline for that much-anticipated manned trip, but as the company has already boasted about launching paying customers on sight-seeing trips around the moon, it’s already set expectations pretty high.