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Elon Musk Unveils SpaceX's Sleek New Spacesuit on Instagram

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SpaceX CEO Elon Musk has revealed the first public photo of the ultra-sleek spacesuits that astronauts will wear when the company sends humans into space. 

In a post on Instagram today (Aug. 23), Musk revealed an image of a person sitting in what looks like a spacecraft cabin, wearing a bright white-and-silver spacesuit. Musk said that the suits have already been tested in "double vacuum pressure," (a spacesuit must maintain Earth-like pressure in the astronauts body, despite the lack of atmospheric pressure in the vacuum of space), although these suits are likely not intended to be worn outside the spacecraft. He also noted that it was "incredibly hard" to balance aesthetics and function.

Along with Boeing, SpaceX is poised to become one of the first private companies to send humans into space. Both companies won contracts with NASA to launch humans to the International Space Station. Crewed test flights are scheduled for 2018, with flights to the station scheduled for sometime in 2019. However, at least one report suggests it is very possible there will be additional delays. SpaceX has also announced it plans to send two private citizens on a trip around the moon. 

Earlier this year, Boeing revealed its new "Boeing Blue" astronaut spacesuits. The blue-and-gray suits are lighter than shuttle-era flight suits, according to the company, and include things like touch-screen sensitive gloves and soft helmets that are attached to the body of the suit. Boeing is scheduled to become the first private company to fly humans into space.  

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Calla Cofield joined Space.com's crew in October 2014. She enjoys writing about black holes, exploding stars, ripples in space-time, science in comic books, and all the mysteries of the cosmos. Prior to joining Space.com Calla worked as a freelance writer, with her work appearing in APS News, Symmetry magazine, Scientific American, Nature News, Physics World, and others. From 2010 to 2014 she was a producer for The Physics Central Podcast. Previously, Calla worked at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City (hands down the best office building ever) and SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory in California. Calla studied physics at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst and is originally from Sandy, Utah. In 2018, Calla left Space.com to join NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory media team where she oversees astronomy, physics, exoplanets and the Cold Atom Lab mission. She has been underground at three of the largest particle accelerators in the world and would really like to know what the heck dark matter is. Contact Calla via: E-Mail – Twitter