Credit: SpaceX

In February 2022, Jared Isaacman and SpaceX announced the Polaris Program, an effort designed to rapidly advance human spaceflight capabilities, while also supporting important causes here on Earth.

Polaris Dawn, the first of the program’s three human spaceflight missions, is targeted to launch to orbit no earlier than summer 2024. During the five-day mission, the crew will perform SpaceX’s first-ever Extravehicular Activity (more commonly known as an EVA or spacewalk) from Dragon, which will also be the first-ever commercial astronaut spacewalk. This historic milestone will also be the first time four astronauts will be exposed to the vacuum of space at the same time.

Supporting the crew throughout the spacewalk will be SpaceX’s newly-developed EVA suit, an evolution of the Intravehicular Activity (IVA) suit crews currently wear aboard Dragon human spaceflight missions. Developed with mobility in mind, SpaceX teams incorporated new materials, fabrication processes, and novel joint designs to provide greater flexibility to astronauts in pressurized scenarios while retaining comfort for unpressurized scenarios. The 3D-printed helmet incorporates a new visor to reduce glare during the EVA in addition to the new Heads-Up Display (HUD) and camera that provide information on the suit’s pressure, temperature, and relative humidity. The suit also incorporates enhancements for reliability and redundancy during a spacewalk, adding seals and pressure valves to help ensure the suit remains pressurized and the crew remains safe.

All of these enhancements to the EVA suit are part of a scalable design, allowing teams to produce and scale to different body types as SpaceX seeks to create greater accessibility to space for all of humanity.

While Polaris Dawn will be the first time the SpaceX EVA suit is used in low-Earth orbit, the suit’s ultimate destiny lies much farther from our home planet. Building a base on the Moon and a city on Mars will require the development of a scalable design for the millions of spacesuits required to help make life multiplanetary.

Source: SpaceX

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Kris Christiaens

This article was published by FutureSpaceFlight founder and chief editor Kris Christiaens. Kris Christiaens has been passionate and fascinated by spaceflight and space exploration all his life and has written hundreds of articles on space projects, the commercial space industry and space missions over the past 20 years for magazines, books and websites. In late 2021, he founded the website FutureSpaceFlight with the goal of promoting new space companies and commercial space projects and compiling news of these start-ups and companies on one website.