A Suit That Never Goes Out of Style

We’ve gotten our first look at the EVA suit that a Chinese taikonaut will use to conduct that nation’s inaugural spacewalk in October. Rob Coppinger has some images taken off Chinese television on his Hyperbola blog.

Aviation Week and Space Daily report that it looks a lot like the Russian Orlan EVA suit. Which is not too surprising because China’s Shenzhou spacecraft looks a lot like the Soyuz. Chinese officials claim the suit is their own design.

“Although seemingly a contradiction, both could be true,” AvWeek’s Craig Covault reports. “The Shenzhou spacecraft itself, for example, uses the basic Russian Soyuz design, but is significantly larger and carries major system design differences. The same is likely true for the Chinese EVA suits, which are about 25 years newer in design than the Orlan and probably incorporate major improvements.”