The Evolution of the Spacesuit in Pictures

Gordon Cooper in Project Mercury Suit - 1959


The spacesuit maybe the ultimate fashion statement: A suit that is both personal spaceship and life support pod, and allows astronauts to work in the harshest of environments. See how NASA's spacesuits evolved in this gallery. HERE: Gordon Cooper, one of NASA’s original seven chosen astronauts chosen in 1959, poses in his Mercury flight suit.

Yuri Gagarin's SK-1 Suit

Roscosmos/Evgeny A. Sivukhin

On April 12, 1961, Soviet cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin ushered in the era of manned spaceflight aboard Vostok 1. During the flight, Gagarin wore an SK-1 pressure suit seen here as he boards his spacecraft.

John Glenn in Project Mercury Suit


Astronaut John Glenn, who became the first American to orbit the Earth in 1962, in his Mercury suit.

Project Gemini Spacesuit


Future moonwalker Neil Armstrong in his Gemini G-2C training suit. Unlike the “soft” Mercury suit, the whole Gemini suit was made to be flexible when pressurized.

Project Gemini Mission Spacesuits


Astronauts Gus Grissom, left, and John Young flew the first Gemini mission in March of 1965.

Russia's Sokol Spacesuits


During launch and landing, Russian cosmonauts wear Sokol spacesuits. The suits date back to early in Russia's space program. Seen HERE: A Soviet-era VA spacecraft and two Sokol spacesuits being sold by Lempertz auction house in Brussels, Belgium on May 7, 2014, could bring in as much as $2.16 million.

First American Spacewalk


The Gemini spacesuit was Ed White’s personal spacecraft when he left the Gemini IV capsule for the first American spacewalk on June 3, 1965.

Project Apollo Spacesuit


Engineer Bill Peterson fits test pilot Bob Smyth in an Apollo space suit with a Lunar Excursion Module restraint harness during suit testing in 1968.

Apollo 14 commander Alan Shepard


Apollo 14 commander Alan Shepard during suit checks before his trip to the lunar surface in 1971.

Buzz Aldrin on Moonwalk


Apollo 11 astronaut Buzz Aldrin on the surface of the moon – July 20, 1969.

Ejection Escape Suit


When the fist shuttle flight, STS-1, lifted off on April 12, 1981, astronauts John Young and Robert Crippen wore the ejection escape suit modeled here.

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