If you are a fan or follower of the space sector, surely you have noticed that astronauts often wear different space suits during their missions or during their public appearances. However, you may not know the difference between the various types of suits or what they are used for.
Explain to you that there are two main types of astronaut suits: for Extravehicular Activities (EVA) and Advanced Crew Escape Suit (ACES). They come in different sizes, shapes, colors, and features.
The different colors of the suits of the astronauts they actually serve a purpose and are not just for show. The orange color of the ACES suit is to make it more visible when landing in an emergency. The EVA suit is white because that is the color that best reflects sunlight and helps keep the astronaut cool.
It is also easier to spot a astronaut in the dark background of space if you wear a white suit. The color blue—also commonly seen at times—is often associated with calm and serenity, which is probably why it was chosen as the color for the suit during the flight process. However, the reality is that once the astronauts go into orbit, the suit they must wear is the well-known and most common white suit.
Characteristics of the different astronaut suits
ACES are designed to help astronauts escape any accidents during takeoff or landing of a space shuttle. They are equipped with:
- Parachute cord and a knife to cut the parachute cords, if the astronaut gets stuck
- It even has a life raft in the back that inflates itself once it comes into contact with the water.
- ACES is also equipped with radios, motion sickness pills, strobe lights, flare kits, and gloves.
Extravehicular activity (EVA) suits are designed to survive in the space almost empty and are equipped with:
- A temperature control system, which recycles body sweat to keep the astronaut cool in adverse conditions
- There is a built-in drinking system
- EVAs have ample oxygen supply, battery and radio
Note that these are bulkier than ACES and have a resistant shell to prevent astronauts from getting hurt if they hit debris —or parts of rocks— from space.