Ever Wondered Why Some Spacesuits Are White And Some Are Orange In Color?

The science of colors!

Ever Wondered Why Some Spacesuits Are White And Some Are Orange In Color?
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From the time we all had learned about Neil Armstrong, one thing which surely crossed our minds was to walk on Moon. Though given a chance even today we would happily agree for a round trip even when there are more destinations to travel to, like Mars. To have an eternal aspiration to work for NASA, that too as an astronaut is a dream which never wears off. What happens along with that is, you forget about the knowledge you must possess to know the journey as much as the destination.

Now, you cannot get an entire space travel course here but you'll get one fundamental fact straight today and that is about the color of the dress of an astronaut or becoming one. Let's get started with your 'crash' course then and by the end of the story, you'll know everything you need to know about spacesuits and about Boeing Blue also.

(Cover picture via BBC)

Why is it needed?

Why is it needed?

Did you know why the attire astronauts wear is particularly called Spacesuit? As obvious as it sounds but at the same time, people going up there are in dire need of some man-made product when they're actually the alien up there.

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Spacesuit assists in

Spacesuit assists in
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Talking about being alienated meant that a human in space is just like an antibody or virus which enters your body and makes you sick (only you get sick when out there). Just like medicines, the astronaut wears this suit so that s/he is able to survive in the vacuum with the terrible harsh environment out there.

Temperature controlled

Temperature controlled
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Apart from helping the wearer breathe in absence of oxygen, there are a lot of other things in play out there. Extreme temperature, precisely, which means the environment being harsh and barely livable; WHITE dress makes it possible for the traveler to keep their skin intact.

Why white, but?

Why white, but?
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The reason you're reading it, and yes we're getting to it. 

White's heat resistant

White’s heat resistant
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Revisit your 6th-grade science class, try and remember that you were taught way back in those days only; white reflects marginally more heat than black does. Now, when you connect the dots you'll happen to gather a lot many instances about it.

Even your parents made you wear white in summers

Even your parents made you wear white in summers
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Come to think of it, even your vests used to be white (at that time) but now with fashion ingrained in our lives to this extent, there's no sense talking about it.


And now, when we talk about orange color, Live Science states: "In fact, that bright hue called International Orange was chosen for safety, because it stands out so well against a landscape. The website further clarified saying:

"It's highly visible for search and rescue," said Brian Daniel, shuttle crew escape subsystem manager at NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston. "It's one of the most visible colors, especially for sea rescue."

It's space, not SpaceX

It’s space, not SpaceX
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Yes, that's the name of Elon's Aerospace company and he may be liberal with his employees to not follow a dress code when coming to office. Neither Elon nor NASA are foolish to allow astronauts to wear whatsoever they wish to in space because with the black space spread out anywhere you look and also in the absence of all the technological advancements up there, white color helps fellow spacewalkers to spot each other when white is worn while black in the background.

White comes with Red

White comes with Red
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They always walk in a pair when stepping out of their spacecraft in space, and in order to spot the other partner, there are 4 strips of red on one of the pair's dress.

Why red?

Why red?
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You shouldn't have thought of this because it has longer wavelengths visible from far distances than other colors.

Not all the time...

Not all the time...
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Don't believe Hollywood here, astronauts don't wear the space suits when in the spacecraft. In fact, we're way past those times when people had to wear different suits for when landing, walking up there and then again when entering Earth.

Astronauts of the present time are no more bound to wear the orange ones while inside the spacecraft.

Thanks to all the machinery advancements

Thanks to all the machinery advancements
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Now, astronauts can also flaunt their tuxedos and backless dresses when inside because the spacecraft now are self-sufficient to support people accommodating it. They just have to wear white spacesuits when they have to step out of their carrier.

White will be redundant

White will be redundant
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Don't worry a lot about it, with innumerable resources at hand working in the same field; there might come a time when people won't have to wear any special suits anywhere and just walk on the Moon or Mars like they're in jogger's park.

3 types

3 types
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Since, history has its own value I'll not leave you uninformed. There are 3 types of spacesuits for different purposes:

  • IVA (intravehicular activity),
  • EVA (extravehicular activity), and
  • IEVA (Intra/extravehicular activity) 

What do present holds?

What do present holds?
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Well, that was all what's happened or how are things going now. On 25th January' 2017 Boeing unveiled a blue suit for space travel which is sleeker than any till now.

NASA's white suits are still the best

NASA's white suits are still the best
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But, when it comes to enduring the harsh environment of space or capable of taking micrometeoroid debris impact, the Boeing one lacks too many layers which is why for now, it will be worn by astronauts when they're in Starliner, only – traveling to and from ISS.


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