- The company's first crewed launch was originally scheduled for Wednesday but has been pushed back to Saturday. It will be the first time an American spacecraft has carried astronauts since 2011.
- Elon Musk said on Wednesday that he personally worked on the the suits for "three or four years."
- The suits are customized to fit the individual astronauts, and they plug into the Crew Dragon's seats.
- Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories .
Although NASA astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley weren't able to launch on Wednesday due to poor weather, they did get a chance to show the world SpaceX's sleek new spacesuits.
The rocket company's first crewed launch , which has been pushed back to Saturday, will mark the first time NASA astronauts have launched in an American spacecraft since 2011. It will also be the first time people have ever flown a commercially developed spaceship.
SpaceX's suits are sleek, black-and-white, one piece, and form-fitted. Elon Musk's company worked with NASA to develop them as well as the spaceship overall, called Crew Dragon. The suits are designed to plug into the capsule's seats.
"I personally spent a lot of time it took us three, almost four years to design these suits that both look good and work well," Musk said during NASA's live coverage of the launch attempt on Wednesday.
A focus on form and function
Musk has focused on the appearance of SpaceX's suits since the company began to design them several years ago.
According to the New York Times , Musk tapped Jose Fernande z, a costume designer for superhero movies "Batman v Superman," "The Fantastic Four," "The Avengers," "X-Men II," among others, to envision a prototype.
Fernandez told Bleep magazine in 2016 that Musk wanted the suits to stand out: "When people put this spacesuit on, he [Musk] wants them to look better than they did without it, like a tux. You look heroic in it. It's an iconic thing be a part of."
Musk elaborated on that idea on Wednesday.
"You see the spacesuits in the movies they look good, they don't work well," he said. "You can make a spacesuit that works, but it doesn't look good, because fundamentally it's a pressure suit that has to survive in a vacuum."
But Musk said he wanted to design a spacesuit that inspires kids to become astronauts and don the uniform themselves to "get them fired up," he explained.
"Everyone should be excited that this is a thing made by humans, for humans," Musk added.
The suits were made in Hawthorne, California, in the same building as SpaceX's rockets. Each one is custom-tailored for the crew members. They're designed to be a single piece, with specialized parts.
"A single connection point on the suit's thigh attaches life support systems, including air and power connections," NASA said in a press release . "The helmet is custom manufactured using 3D-printing technology and includes integrated valves, mechanisms for visor retraction and locking, and microphones within the helmet's structure."
The suits have touchscreen-compatible gloves, which enable the astronauts pilot the Crew Dragon, since its control panel is touchscreen-only.
These spacesuits are different from the ones worn on spacewalks outside the space station for those, the astronauts use NASA's Extravehicular Mobility Units (EMU). Those are designed to work for 8-10 hours in a full vacuum like space, and also protect astronauts from dangerous radiation.
The first time the SpaceX suit will be worn by a human in space
The SpaceX spacesuits have been put to the test twice before. One was on a dummy at the wheel of the Tesla that SpaceX launched into space on the company's Falcon Heavy rocket in 2018. Another was used on the dummy called Ripley that flew aboard the Crew Dragon when it completed its uncrewed Demo-1 test flight last year.
But Behnken and Hurley will be the first humans to test the suits out while flying through space.
Before this, the NASA astronauts who went to the space station have worn Russian Sokol suits, since the US has been buying seats on Russian Soyuz spacecraft since 2011.
But this mission is set to restore NASA's ability to launch its own astronauts from US soil. It's the product of NASA's Commercial Crew program, a partnership between the space agency and private companies to build spaceships that can ferry astronauts to and from the space station.
Over the last six decades, NASA has had at least eight different types of spacesuits .
Dave Mosher contributed reporting.
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- SpaceX's launch of NASA astronauts was scrubbed and rescheduled for Saturday because of poor weather, just 17 minutes before liftoff