Elon Musk releases image of full SpaceX spacesuit
On Sept. 8, 2017, SpaceX Founder and CEO Elon Musk teased a full body image of the current SpaceX spacesuit concept next to a Crew Dragon capsule. It was the first official image showing the entire front side of the suit. A previous post showed just the helmet and torso, but not the bottom half.
Musk wrote “Astronaut spacesuit next to Crew Dragon” in a very short Instagram post, which was a departure from a lengthier post two weeks ago regarding the status of the SpaceX spacesuit. The new image also provides some scale for comparison between the capsule and spacesuit, both of which sport a black and white color scheme.
It is unclear if the Crew Dragon pictured is a mock-up or a flight vehicle still under construction, although the picture was taken on the factory room floor at SpaceX headquarters in Hawthorne, California. Also visible in the background are what appear to be two Falcon 9 boosters.
SpaceX plans to launch its first Crew Dragon no earlier than February 2018 on an uncrewed test flight to the International Space Station. It is unclear if the spacesuits will be test-flown before the first crewed flight of Dragon.
Paul is currently a graduate student in Space and Planetary Sciences at the University of Akransas in Fayetteville. He grew up in the Kansas City area and developed an interest in space at a young age at the start of the twin Mars Exploration Rover missions in 2003. He began his studies in aerospace engineering before switching over to geology at Wichita State University where he earned a Bachelor of Science in 2013. After working as an environmental geologist for a civil engineering firm, he began his graduate studies in 2016 and is actively working towards a PhD that will focus on the surficial processes of Mars. He also participated in a 2-week simluation at The Mars Society's Mars Desert Research Station in 2014 and remains involved in analogue mission studies today. Paul has been interested in science outreach and communication over the years which in the past included maintaining a personal blog on space exploration from high school through his undergraduate career and in recent years he has given talks at schools and other organizations over the topics of geology and space. He is excited to bring his experience as a geologist and scientist to the Spaceflight Insider team writing primarily on space science topics.