Boeing says they are ready to take America back into space. But first they have to suit up.Â
The company unveiled a new line of spacesuits this week to pair with its Starliner spacecraft, designed to take astronauts to the International Space Station.Â
At 20 pounds, it weighs 40 percent less than NASA’s current spacesuits, has touchscreen-friendly gloves, strategically placed zippers, and a soft helmet with a wide visor for better peripheral viewing.Â
It will feature Boeing’s signature blue color and be worn by astronauts during launch, ascent and re-entry.
In a Boeing special report, Boeing Starliner director Chris Ferguson said, “It’s more aesthetically appealing and it’s not as bulky.”
The suits were made by David Clark Co., a Massachusetts company that has made other suits for NASA and the U.S. Air Force.Â
Since NASA’s space shuttle program ended in 2011, the United States has relied on Russia’s Soyuz spacecraft to take its astronauts into low orbit.Â
That should change soon, as NASA has signed commercial crew contracts with SpaceX and Boeing.
The Starliner is expected to make its first launch in late 2018. Good thing the astronauts already have their suits picked out.