WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — Astronauts travelling to the International Space Station aboard the Boeing Starliner spacecraft will benefit from a 20 pound spacesuit that allows moisture to escape while keeping air inside, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) announced in a press release.
"The suit capitalizes on historical designs, meets NASA requirements for safety and functionality, and introduces cutting-edge innovations," the release stated on Wednesday.
With accessories included, the spacesuit is about ten pounds lighter than existing models and includes features such as helmet and visor incorporated into the suit instead of detachable touchscreen-sensitive gloves on previous models, the release explained.
In addition, the Starliner suit material lets water vapor pass out of the suit, away from the astronaut, but keeps air inside, making the suit cooler without sacrificing safety, the release noted.
The spacesuit acts as the emergency backup for the Starliner voyagers should multiple life support systems fail. If something goes wrong, the suit pressurizes immediately, according to the release.
Boeing is co-developing with NASA the Starliner, a reusable spacecraft to carry four astronauts and supplies to the International Space Station.