All About Spacesuits



Why do astronauts have to wear those big spacesuits when they go into space?


God made the earth special so it can support life. Once an astronaut leaves Earth, it's impossible to survive without the help of special equipment like the spacesuit. Here's how it protects the astronauts:


Cooling

Inside the spacesuit is a stretchy spandex bodysuit with about 300 feet of tubes woven into it. Cool water flows inside the tubes to help regulate the astronaut's body temperature and keep him or her from getting overheated.


Best Backpack Ever!

The astronaut's backpack is actually a life support system! It holds oxygen for the astronaut to breathe and water for the cooling bodysuit. It also keeps the suit at the right pressure, provides electricity for the suit, and has a two-way radio for communication.


Hard Upper Torso

The upper torso is hard and strong, but also light so it doesn't weigh the astronaut down and make it hard to move. It connects the suit to the backpack life support system.


The Waist

A metal piece at the waist connects the upper torso to the pants and seals the body inside. There is a special piece called the waist bearing that helps the astronaut move and turn.


Pants and Boots

The pants and boots keep the astronaut protected. When Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin first landed on the moon, they had to bunny hop because the pants and boots weren't very flexible. NASA is fixing that for new missions! The new suits will have special parts added to let them bend their knees and hips.


Gloves

An astronaut's fingers can get very cold in space, so gloves are important! These gloves are extra special because they have little heaters to keep fingers warm! They also protect fingers from the space environment.


Layers for Protection

The spacesuit can have as many of 16 layers to protect the astronaut. Each layer has a different purpose. Here are some of the things the layers do:

  • Keep oxygen in the suit

  • Keep the suit at the right pressure and temperature

  • Reflect the light from the sun

  • Protect the astronaut from things that could be floating around in space

  • Make the suit water resistant

  • Make the suit fireproof

Helmet

We can't breathe the air outside of Earth's atmosphere, so helmets are especially important to the astronauts! They do more than just protect the astronauts' heads. They provide the oxygen needed to breathe! They also have a special visor like ultimate sunglasses to protect the astronauts' eyes and faces from the rays of the sun.




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