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The Evolution Of Space Suits

People always wanted to conquest the space. But without a proper technology, it wasn’t possible until the 20th century, when the Space Race began. But in order to survive outside the Earth’s atmosphere, humans need a protection. For this purpose, US military and corporations invented the space suits. Space suits change a lot over the years.

Check out the evolution of space suits below.

1. Wiley Post Pressure Suit built by BF Goodrich in 1935

Wiley Post Pressure Suit built by BF Goodrich in 1935

The first practical design, it featured an inner rubber bladder and a rubberized fabric outer layer which was glued to a frame with joints to improve movement. Aviator Wiley Post used his suit to fly to an altitude of 50,000 feet, where he discovered the jet stream. Post’s suit is the predecessor to all modern pressure suits, which operate on the same basic principes.

2. The XMC-2 suit built by the David Clark Company in 1955

The XMC-2 suit built by the David Clark Company in 1955

XMC-2 is the first series of pressure suits. The suit was built for the X-15 program. The suit would be worn on many early X-15 flights and later modified to create the MC-2 suit. The photo shows Scott Crossfield wearing the suit.

3. XMC-2, 1957

XMC-2 suit 1957

4. MC-2, 1958

MC-2 suit 1958

Improved XMC-2 suit with many innovations. The suit allowed better movement and had a protection against the loss of pressure. It was also equipped with heat resistant outer layer and communication system. The US aircraft test pilots using this model achieved Mach 7 speed.

5. Neil Armstrong in his MC-2 suit

Neil Armstrong in his MC-2 suit

6. Navy Mark IV, 1961

Navy Mark IV suit 1961

This space suit was created for the Project Mercury – the first NASA manned space project. The inner layer consisted of nylon fabric coated with neoprene. The outer layer was a mixture of nylon and aluminum. When the suit was under pressure, the molvement was very limited.

7. Navy Mark IV under pressure

Navy Mark IV under pressure

8. SK-1, 1961

SK-1 suit 1961

Russia has joined the space race with SK-1 suit designed for the Gagarin’s mission. It could be used inside the cabin only.

9. Neil Armstrong in G2-C, 1964

Neil Armstrong in G2-C 1964

The suit was used for early training and testing.

10. Bierkut, 1964

Bierkut suit 1964

A modified version of Russian SK-1 suit. It could supply oxygen for 45 minutes. The oxygen tank was placed in a large backpack. It was used during one mission – Voskhod 2.

11. G-3C, 1965

G-3C suit 1965

Gus Grissom and John Young – two members of the Project Gemini in G-3C space suit.

12. G4-C, 1965

G4-C suit 1965

An improved version of the G-3C suit for the Project Gemini. The photo shows the space walk during the Gemini IV mission.

13. G4-C with slight modifications to improve movement

G4-C with slight modifications to facilitate movement

14. G5-C


Another version of the suit for astronauts of the Project Gemini. The modification involved the possibility of removing it during the flight.

15. A1C IVA, 1967

A1C IVA suit 1967

The suit was created on the basis of the G3-C for the Apollo 1 mission.

16. A7L, 1968

A7L suit 1968

Successor of the A1C suit. It came into use after the fire that caused the Apollo 1 disaster.

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