Protective Clothing for Space Shuttle Traveler

Last Updated on 19/02/2021

For the outer space shuttle traveler NASA (National aeronautic space authority) has prescribed clothing of special property to protect the space travelers for the harmful environment in the outer space. So, protective clothing need for travelers of space shuttle. Two ply fabrics is used for the clothing. The chemically treated cotton fabric plies are 244 grams per square yard satin, 153 grams per square yard weft sateen and 187 grams per square yard mercerized knitted single jersey fabrics. These fabrics are flame retardant finished with THPOS/NH3 and DAP/Urea in two steps. As a result, these type of clothing shows better flame retardancy and burning retardancy property, which is approved by NASA. Such type of fabric are categorized in technical textiles.

Space shuttle cloth
Fig: Protective clothing for space shuttle

At the time of lunching space shuttle, to dissipate surface temperature of space shuttle, water filled bag made of rip-stop nylon fabric is used on its surface. For the outer space shuttle traveler, a special type of clothing has been made.

While early space suits were made entirely of soft fabrics, today’s Extravehicular Mobility Unit (EMU) has a combination of soft and hard components to provide support, mobility and comfort. The suit itself has 13 layers of material, including an inner cooling garment (two layers), pressure garment (two layers), thermal micro meteoroid garment (eight layers) and outer cover (one layer).

Materials for Space Shuttle Cloth:
The materials used in protective clothing for space shuttle include:

  1. Nylon tricot
  2. Spandex
  3. Urethane-coated Nylon
  4. Dacron
  5. Neoprene-coated Nylon
  6. Mylar
  7. Gortex
  8. Kevlar (material in bullet-proof vests)
  9. Nomex

Space Suits Design:
There are four theoretical approaches to space suits design:

1. Soft suits
Soft suits typically are made mostly of fabrics. All soft suits have some hard parts; some even have hard joint bearings. Intra-vehicular activity and early EVA suits were soft suits.

2. Hard-shell suits
Hard-shell suits are usually made of metal or composite materials and do not use fabric for joints.

3. Hybrid suits
Hybrid suits have hard-shell parts and fabric parts.

4. Skin tight suits
Skintight suits, also known as mechanical counter pressure suits or space activity suits are a proposed design which would use a heavy elastic body stocking to compress the body.

Advantages of Space shuttle cloth:

  1. The space suit provides air pressure to keep the fluids in body.
  2. Most space suits provide a pure oxygen atmosphere for breathing.
  3. Space suits use lithium hydroxide canisters to remove carbon dioxide.
  4. To cope with the extremes of temperature, most space suits are heavily insulated with layers of fabric and covered with reflective outer layers (Mylar or white fabric) to reflect sunlight.
  5. To protect the astronauts from collisions with micro meteoroids, space suits have multiple layers of durable fabrics such as Dacron or Kevlar.
  6. Modern space suit helmet coverings have mounted lights so that the astronauts can see into the shadows.
  7. To help this problem, space suits are equipped with special joints or tapers in the fabric to help the astronauts bend their hands, arms, legs, knees and ankles.

Disadvantages of Space shuttle cloth:

  1. In weightlessness, it is difficult to move around.
  2. Space suits offer only limited protection from radiation.

Uses of space suits:
Astronauts wear space suit during launch and landing of the space shuttle. Astronauts used for spacewalks.


  3. http://Space%20suit%20-%20Wikipedia,%20the%20free%20encyclopedia.htm
  6. Garments Merchandising by Professor M.A.Kashem

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  3. Protective Textiles with Its Enormous Applications

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