The Evolution of the Spacesuit in Pictures

Floating Free Spacesuit


In February 1984, shuttle astronaut Bruce McCandless became the first astronaut to float in space untethered, thanks to a jetpack-like device called the Manned Manuevering Unit, or MMU.

How Astronauts' Space Suits Work (Infographic)

by Karl Tate, Infographics Artist

Many layers and systems combine to keep astronauts alive in the vacuum of space. See how NASA's Extravehicular Mobility Unit (EMU) spacesuits work in this infographic.

"Pumpkin Suit"


The familiar orange launch and entry suit worn by shuttle crews, nicknamed the “pumpkin suit” for its color.

Russia's Orlan Spacesuit


Russia's Orlan spacesuits are bulkier than NASA's EMU versions, with cosmonauts donning them by climbing through an opening in the back. They are used aboard the International Space Station for Russian spacewalks.

Modern Sokol Spacesuits

NASA/GCTC/Irina Peshkova

Expedition 39 Soyuz Commander Alexander Skvortsov of the Russian Federal Space Agency, Roscosmos, has his Russian Sokol suit pressure checked in preparation for his launch onboard the Soyuz TMA-12M spacecraft on Tuesday, March 25, 2014 at the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.

Chinese Spacesuits for Launch

China Ministry of National Defense

China has also developed two spacesuit types, one for launches and landings aboard the country's Shenzhou space capsules (pictured here), and another suit, the Feitian, for spacewalks. HERE: The crew of China's fourth human spaceflight Shenzhou 9 salutes officials after walking out to the launch pad at Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center on June 16, 2012. The crew includes China's first woman astronaut liu Yang (left), veteran Jing Haipeng, and first-time flyer Liu Wang.

China in Space

China National Space Administration

China's Feitian spacesuit is seen here in a 2008 video still from China's first spacewalk during the Shenzhou 8 mission. Chinese astronaut Zhai Zhigang is waving the country's flag outside Shenzhou 7 during the Sept. 27, 2008 excursion, China's first spacewalk.

MK III Advanced Spacesuit


Dr. Dean Eppler wears the MK III advanced demonstration spacesuit during a 2002 field test of futuristic technology in Arizona.

Future Spacesuit Concept


Artist’s concepts depict a futuristic launch and entry suit, left, and spacewalk suit, right.

The Future of Spacesuits


With his back to a lunar truck concept, an Earth-bound astronaut captures the scene at Moses Lake, Wash., during a lunar robot demonstration in June 2008.

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