As he promised, Elon Musk released another photo of the SpaceX spacesuit his company has created for future space travel. He posted the first photo of the suit to Instagram back in August and gave a second look at it over the weekend, this time with it pictured near the Dragon Crew spacecraft.
The suit isn’t just a “mockup” Musk said in a previous caption. It’s the real deal and has been tested in a vacuum for space-like conditions. Musk also said that it was difficult to balance the esthetics and the functionality of the suit when creating it.
The suit does look pretty cool. Many of the comments on the photo had to do with how it looked, some compared it to the suits in the show Star Trek, another commenter said it looked like it was from a computer game or resembled the outfits worn by Daft Punk.
The suit will likely be worn by the private citizens that SpaceX has been hired to send to space in 2018. SpaceX announced in February that two private citizens approached the company about doing a private mission to space and around the moon. When this mission was announced, the company also said SpaceX would launch the Crew Dragon craft to the International Space Station this year.
The plan was to send up one Dragon Crew craft with no humans on board in automatic flight mode before flying a manned mission in the second quarter of 2018. After several successful Crew Dragon missions occur then the company will send up the private citizens, said a release from the company.
The Falcon Heavy rocket that will be used to send up the Dragon is in the testing stages, the last of which occurred earlier this month. A test launch is expected in November, although Musk noted in August that a lot could go wrong during the November test launch and landing of the first stage of the rocket.
Although Musk refers to the suit as a space suit in both captions of the photos, it’s most likely more of a flight suit to be worn while in the Dragon Crew craft. A space suit designed for outer space conditions would likely be much larger, more like the kind you picture when you think of an astronaut on a spacewalk outside of the ISS.
However, very few details about the suit and its expected uses and design have been released. SpaceX has a contract with NASA to conduct resupply missions to the ISS as well as eventual crew missions as part of the Commercial Crew Program. The company currently launches supplies and satellites for NASA, the United States Government and private companies.