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Boeing Reveals Suits For Starliner Astronauts

Former Shuttle Astronaut and Boeing's Director of Crew & Mission Systems tests out the pressure suit in a Starliner mock-up. Photo: Boeing

Boeing unveiled a new spacesuit that will protect some of the first astronauts launching to space from US soil since the Shuttle program ended.

Private company Boeing, along with SpaceX, will send astronauts to the International Space Station for NASA’s Commercial Crew program. Currently, NASA pays Russia for rides to orbit.

The royal-blue suits are 40 percent lighter than any other spacesuit, an the helmet portion is soft, like a hoodie sweatshirt. The hood has a wide visor to provide greater field of vision.

Boeing’s spacecraft, called the Starliner, uses mostly touch-screens to operate. Boeing’s Director of Crew & Missions Systems Chris Ferguson said that’s something designers had to consider when making parts of the suit.”Because it’s a glove, it has to work through the stitching of the hand, so there’s a capacitive carry through that enables us to use a touchscreen.”

Ferguson said Reebok helped designed the boots.

Boeing plans to launch an unpiloted test flight next year.

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Brendan Byrne

About Brendan Byrne

Space Reporter and 'Are We There Yet?' Host

Brendan covers space news for WMFE, everything from rocket launches to the latest scientific discoveries in our universe. He hosts WMFE's weekly radio show and podcast "Are We There Yet?" which explores human space exploration. He also helps produce WMFE's public affairs show "Intersection," working with host ... Read Full Bio »