Smithsonian’s “Suited for Space” exhibit features fantastic X-ray photos of spacesuits
posted Thursday, August 22, 2013 at 1:49 PM EDT
For an astronaut, all that stands between them and the void of space is their suit, a small barrier that offers protection whenever leaving the ship. But for those of us on the ground, we're lucky to even get a look at a real space suit, and probably have no idea of what they look like from the inside. The Smithsonian's "Suited for Space" touring exhibit gives us that glance at the inner workings of these incredible costumes, thanks to a series of X-ray photos of a number of them.
The exhibit is currently at the National Air and Space Museum in Washington DC, as part of a long running tour of the country, and in addition to showing off some of the Smithsonian's 270 space suits it has gathered over the years, it gives us a look inside these feats of engineering.
The Smithsonian has its own CT machine, and so was able to scan the suits itself — but the machine wasn't big enough to take the entire suit at once. So instead, each piece was individually scanned, and then combined together to give a look at the entire thing.
It goes from original Apollo suits, each of which were custom made, including gloves that were cast to fit each astronaut's individual hands; to modern designs; and even on to prototypes that never get used in space. In each image, you can see the cables, connections, joints, and more that were required to keep an astronaut alive and functioning against the dangers or space.