What is a space suit?

As the name suggests, a space suit is a garment meant for wearing in spacecrafts. Space suits protect the human body from harsh environmental conditions and provides mobility and function.

Space suits are designed to provide a stable cabin pressure, movement of the body, temperature regulation and maximum absorbance for bodily fluids.

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Space suits are always equipped with a continuous supply of breathable oxygen and a communication system with external electrical connections to the spacecraft.

Three types of space suits have been developed for three different uses during space travel.

An intravehicular activity suit is a light and comfortable suit which is meant to wear inside an aircraft.

An Extravehicular activity suit is used for outside activities like spacewalks or planetary exploration. This type of space suit provides protection against ultraviolet radiation and particle radiation.

An intra/extravehicular activity suit is meant for use both inside and outside of spacecrafts.

There are also four different types of space suits based on the materials that are used.

Soft suits: are made up of fabric but also have some hard material at the joints. It is meant for wearing inside a spacecraft. Hard-shell suits: are made up of hard material only. This type of suit uses ball bearings and wedge ring segments at joints for movement.

Hybrid suits: are made up of fabric as well as hard material. Hard material use is restricted to only few areas (joints, helmet, waist seal and rear entry hatch).

Skintight suits: are very lightweight suits. They are made up of highly elastic fabric.