Sharp Dressed Man
Human beings are extremely adept at overcoming hostile living conditions, harsh environment and anything that might pose a threat to their existence. People can be found living in areas where there are severe temperature extremes, whether it’s the deserts or areas near the poles, high altitudes, volcanoes, floods, hurricanes and so on and so forth. And that’s fine. Earth is our home, and we have learned to adapt. But, when it comes to humans surviving in space, that is another story, and that’s where spacesuits come in.
Spacesuits help astronauts in several different aspects, protecting them from high temperature differences they might encounter during their spacewalks. Also, seeing as there is no atmosphere to supply the pressure and no oxygen in order for astronauts to breathe, the use of a spacesuit is crucial. Without sufficient atmospheric pressure, body fluids would start to heat up and they would eventually boil. They were initially conceived to be used by air force pilots who flew jet airplanes, to help them battle low pressure and lack of oxygen at high altitudes.
The first spacesuit, named the SK-1, was worn by Yuri Gagarin, who became the first human being to journey into outer space in 1961. A month later, spacesuits made by NASA were used during the Mercury program, although they were only worn inside the spacecraft. NASA’s first spacewalks would take place during the Gemini program, which included 10 manned flights between 1965 and 1966. It was the Apollo program who further developed the design and introduced some new ideas and solutions. They’ve added boots and life support systems, so that the astrounauts could leave the lunar module and walk the surface of the moon. Each Apollo mission required a total of 15 suits. Each member of the three-man crew had 3 spacesuits: one for flight, one for training, and one back-up suits in case something happened to the flight suit, creating a total of nine suits. The other six were made for the back-up three-man crew, who each had one suit for flight and one for training.
Spacesuit weighs 280 pounds on Earth, but in space, where there is no gravity, it weighs nothing. Still, it takes about 45 minutes for an astronaut to put on a spacesuit, along with the special undergarment that keeps them cool during spacewalks. Also, before venturing out into space, they have to inhale pure oxygen for about an hour to adjust to the lower pressure that is inside the suit. Spacesuits are made white, because white reflects heat. As far as terminology is concerned, putting on a spacesuit is called donning, and removing is called doffing. In case some of you have been wondering, astronauts have a piece of Velcro attached to the inside of their helmets, so they can scratch their nose. Other luxuries include a drink bag that carries water, and a urine collection container. The high-tech materials used in fabrication of the suit include ortho-fabric, aluminized mylar, neoprene-coated nylon, dacron, urethane-coated nylon, tricot, nylon/spandex, stainless steel, and high-strength composite materials.