From Apollo to Artemis, spacesuits have played a key role in making human space exploration possible.
When you head into space, you can’t forget your spacesuit! It is what protects astronauts on their journey, and helps us survive on worlds beyond our own. Spacesuit designs have changed over the years, adapting to new missions and objectives, inspiring the next generation spacesuits of tomorrow that will protect astronauts as they take the next giant leap.
However, spacesuits have contributed to more than human space exploration. In fact, spacesuits have inspired and led to the development of countless spinoffs that have greatly improved life here on Earth.
Test out what you know about spacesuits and their spinoffs with today’s pop quiz!
A spacesuit can have up to how many layers?
According to NASA, a spacesuit's flexible parts can have up to 16 layers, all of which serve different functions, from insulation to protecting astronauts from suit tears and space debris.
Why are the Orion Crew Survival Suits orange?
The Orion Crew Survival Suits are orange so that the astronauts are more visible to search and rescue crews. Like the Apollo missions that came before, Orion will splashdown in the ocean at the end of a mission, and the bright orange color of these survival suits will allow recovery crews to easily spot the astronauts. The suits were originally going to be blue. However, this would have made recovering the astronauts quite the challenge.
Which of the following is a NASA spacesuit spinoff?
All of these are! Spacesuit technology doesn't just improve an astronaut's quality of life off-planet. It also improves our daily lives on the ground. In fact, thanks to spacesuit technology, we now have clothes that can block 98% of UV rays, athletic wear that cools athletes down by reducing overheating, and even more efficient gas masks to better protect American soldiers.
Which spacesuits are custom-tailored to the astronauts that wear them?
Which of these is a component of a spacewalk suit?
If you answered all the above, you would be correct! All these items are components of an Extravehicular Mobility Unit, or EMU, which astronauts use for spacewalks on station. Gloves protect an astronauts hands from the harsh environment of space, while the cooling garment helps to keep them feeling comfortable during their long and often strenuous spacewalks. The colored stripes are used to identify each astronaut during a spacewalk.
True or false? NASA spacesuit technology is helping race car drivers get more comfortable behind the wheel.
True! Thanks to NASA spacesuit technology, race car drivers will soon be more comfortable behind the wheel. Phase-change materials, which were originally developed for spacesuit gloves, are helping to increase performance and comfort of race car drivers, who often have to endure high temperatures during a race. According to NASA, the new temperature-regulated undergarments will help keep drivers cool, even amid scorching heat behind the wheel. This type of technology has also been used for things like bedding, infant swaddles, outdoor gear, and more!
Which NASA spacesuits were the first to be used for spacewalking?
Ed White became the first American to spacewalk on June 3, 1965, for the Gemini IV mission. While the Project Mercury suits were the first American spacesuits to travel into space, they were not the first to be used for spacewalking.
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