A Pressure Suit For Every Occasion

A Pressure Suit For Every Occasion


When a sealed, pressurised vessel (say, you) is exposed to a vacuum (say, space), things tend to get splattery. These 15 atmospheric suits from our friends at Oobject are the hallmarks of life-support design from the golden age of exploration.

When you’re done appreciating the pressure suit’s role in keeping our astronauts space-blindness-free, check out these claustrophobic space capsules and some abandoned space technology.


USSR Canine Cosmonaut Space Suit

The suit worn by Laika.

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US XM-2 Hypersonic Plane, Pilot Suit

Hypersonic refers to speeds of more than Mach 5. The prototype suit being tested here, in a vacuum chamber full of what are presumably heat lamps was for the X-15 plane.

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Spanish High Altitude Balloon Suit, 1935

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Polish Wuk-90 Mig Pilot Pressure Suit

Mounted unworn, it looks like a discarded snake skin.

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MX-117 'Tomato Worm' Pressure Suit Developed For USAAF Crews In WWII

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NASA Apollo, Space Shuttle And 1997 I-Suit Compared

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1977 NASA Hardsuit AX-3 Mobility Demonstration

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Annotated Space Suit X-Ray

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US RX2A Suit, By Litton, 1965

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Grumman moon suit

Designed for roaming around the moon, the odd bell shape means that the wearer can retract his arms inside the suit. Note the tie.

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US high altitude spy plane pressure suit

Worn by SR-71 and U2 pilots.

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1962 Mercury mission pressure suit

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US 1960s Prototype Suit

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Orland DM Russian Spacesuit Showing Life Support System

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US 1934 World's First Pressure Suit Made For Wiley Post

There were three suits made and only one worked (not this one). The others had a round viewing window, like a diving helmet, rather than this square, welding mask style one.

I've used this image, because I've already used the other on Oobject and incorrectly, as a diving suit. The Wiley Post suit is where the aesthetics of deep sea and high altitude overlap, before they diverged almost completely.