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New space suits meet astronauts' needs


10-19-2016 05:09 BJT

Full coverage: China Tiangong-2 Space Lab Launch

Astronauts Jing Haipeng and Chen Dong wore some new suits when they faced the media on Sunday. So what was the purpose of designing new outfits for the astronauts, and what characteristics do the new suits have?

The astronauts are expected stay in orbit for up to 30 days and carry out multiple experiments. To meet their needs, a series of new space suits with different functions was designed. As a results, the astronauts have different outfits for different occasions, from the ground to space.

"As our astronauts spend more and more time in space, the importance of clothes becomes more prominent. So we designed new space suits for them. The new clothes meet their various needs, reflect their professional characteristics, and highlight Chinese culture," said Huang Weifen, Dep. Chief Designer, Astronaut System for Manned Space Engineering.

The suits also come with some new aesthetics. This includes badges showing the astronauts' career achievements.

"We designed the old space suits back in 1998. After more than 10 years, it's hard for them to meet newer needs. So we designed a whole new series of space suits with more functions," said Li Xinke, Party Committee Secretary, Astronaut Center of China.
As astronauts will stay in space longer than ever, additional shoes and casual clothes are provided for them.
There are two series of space suits now, 11 types in total, catering to both ground and orbit needs. In the orbit series, there are working suits, sports wear, casual clothes, as well as a "penguin suit".

This is the penguin suit. In their 30 days in space, the astronauts will spend most of the time wearing them. When people live on earth, working against gravity keeps their muscles strong.

But when they enter an environment without gravity, these muscles wither and lose their power.

The penguin suit puts pressure on astronauts' bodies with a man-made binding force. As a result, muscles can get proper stimulation, keeping their basic strength.

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