The purpose of a space suit is to keep astronauts alive in outer space, as the extreme temperatures and lack of an atmosphere mean instant death for a human. Astronauts also wear suits inside the spacecraft sometimes in case cabin pressure drops suddenly, and they wear them when they are performing work on the exterior of the space ship.Continue Reading
Astronauts have worn space suits in a variety of contexts, such as walks on the lunar surface, work at the International Space Station, making repairs to such items as the Hubble telescope and returning to the Earth. Soviet astronaut Yuri Gagarin was the first human to wear a space suit in outer space, as he donned the Soviet SK-1 suit for his voyage.
The most modern space suits still feature the pressure garment inside but also contain a set of environmental machinery that keep the astronaut comfortable and make bending the limbs as easy as possible. The pressure suit tends to stiffen in the presence of a vacuum, and modern suits are designed to counteract that. The suits also contain an entire oxygen supply and environmental control mechanism so that the astronaut has wholly independent movement when he is outside the spacecraft.Learn more about Space Travel
The life support system installed in the space station helps astronauts live in space for extended periods of time. While in space, the life support system provides oxygen and filters out the carbon dioxide exhaled by the astronauts. In addition, astronauts go through rigorous training regimens to ensure that their bodies can handle the conditions.Full Answer >
As of September 2009, 505 astronauts from 38 different countries had been active participants in manned space flights. This data is sourced from The Astronautic Records Commission of the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale (FAI), which is the organization that governs astronautics as well as other air sports.Full Answer >
NASA beams live and recorded video content into low-earth orbit, allowing astronauts to watch live video in outer space. A special broadband connection carries the video into space on an as-requested basis. Astronauts watch television and other content when they are not working.Full Answer >
Skylab was an experimental space station designed to study the effects that living and working in space for extended periods would have on astronauts. Skylab also conducted nearly 300 experiments that provided scientists with valuable information.Full Answer >