Space Suit of the Week

Space suits are very complex. It’s like wearing a building… or an airplane minus the jet engines. Recently, I’ve devoted some time to better understanding just what kind of engineering goes into and onto these suits. ILC Dover is a Delaware-based company that actually makes space suits or, as they explain it, engineer softgoods products; their website is full of information about their company’s involvement with the Apollo Missions and the fact that it takes 5000 hours of work to produce a single space suit.

This doesn’t explain why their suits have an insult drink bag. For one, I think any bag that holds liquid is correctly referred to as a bladder. Secondly, while I know insult is short of insulation, isn’t it strange to imagine folks in space suits shouting insults at each other? Or fighting? The suit limits you from starting a fight by throwing water on Buzz Aldrin’s face… the option of throwing a bladder against his suit and watching it bounce off into space doesn’t invoke as much anger as it does curiosity.

But what I’m trying to say is that if you have a question about space suits, ask me. It doesn’t have to be about the technical aspects of the suits, but can be. Your question doesn’t have to center around cosmic couture, but can. Your question doesn’t have to concern astronauts fighting robots, but can. If I can’t answer, I’ll point you to someone who can, and future Space Suit of the Week entries will reflect your interesting inquiries.


May 21, 2010