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17.41 23 Aug 2017


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Serial entrepreneur Elon Musk has posted the first official photograph of the upcoming SpaceX spacesuit online.

In a post on Instagram, the SpaceX and Tesla chief said more details will be landing over the coming days.

While the slick outfit may look more suited to the cat-walk than a space-walk, Musk said the prototype suits actually works - and has already been "tested to double vacuum pressure."

The simplistic white design is a throw-back to the suits worn by the first astronauts to walk on the moon and Musk said it was "incredibly hard" to balance the suit's look and functionality - adding that it would be "easy" to do either separately."

The suits are expected to be worn by astronauts travelling in the SpaceX Dragon Capsule.

As pressure suits, they are not meant for space-walks - but will be worn by the astronauts in the case the capsule depressurises.

SpaceX spacesuit, 23-08-2017. Image: Elon Musk/Instagram 

 

The Dragon spacecraft was originally designed for human travel, but so far has only been used to deliver cargo to the International Space Station (ISS).

SpaceX had originally planned to put a human crew in space this year - however that has now been delayed until 2018 while engineers continue to evaluate the company's Falcon 9 rocket fuelling system.

Concerns were raised over the system after one of the rockets exploded while it was being fuelled for a test fire last September.

When the company does launch its first manned spaceflight the astronauts will be travelling in an upgraded version of the Dragon capsule - the Dragon 2.

Competitor Boeing is also on track to launch its first manned mission in August 2018.

The company revealed its own space suit design in January of this year.


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