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Are Modern Spacesuits Always White?

When astronauts are launched into space, and when they return to Earth, they wear an orange spacesuit called the Advanced Crew Escape Suit, or ACES for short. The bright color makes it easy for them to be found and rescued in an emergency. But when NASA astronauts suit up for Extravehicular Activity, known in NASA-speak as an EVA, they wear white suits, which reflect the heat from the sun. This is absolutely necessary, as temperatures during spacewalks can reach as high as 250 °F (121 °C). These bulkier white suits also make the spacewalkers easier to see against the black backdrop of space. Since space walks are always done in pairs, one of the suits will have red stripes in four locations, to make identification easy.

All the comforts of home:

  • The orange suit comes equipped with a parachute and a knife. A ripcord activates the parachute that sits on the astronaut’s back. The knife is supplied in case parachute cords cause the astronaut to become entangled.

  • The EVA spacesuit has two sets of gloves. The pair closest to the skin wicks away perspiration, and there are thermofoil heaters inside each fingertip to provide extra protection in extremely cold situations.

  • Putting on a spacesuit is called “donning the suit.” Taking off the suit is called “doffing.”

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More Info: Business Insider

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