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Maybe you’ve noticed it, astronauts always wear white suits. And this is the color of choice for not only the American NASA but also every other space agency. This is no coincidence. This can actually save an astronaut’s life.
Back in the day
These days we are used to astronauts wearing white suits but when the suits were first developed the color and its function were not researched. The first spacesuits were silver to help the space agency find the astronauts in case of rescue efforts. At the time people did not realize that colors worn in space reacted differently than on earth.
It was quickly discovered than silver is not as reflective as white. This reflective function is highly important. On earth, various mechanisms are protecting us against the sun’s rays. You don’t have this protection in space, which means you are exposed to high temperatures that your body is not used to. Therefore it is of vital importance that the astronaut’s suit is white.
On returning to earth astronauts are seen wearing an orange suit. This color also has an important function similar to the reason we see orange safety vests worn in construction and other industries. When astronauts return to earth the bright orange means they stand out against their environment and are easily visible.
If something goes wrong with the return journey and they land in water, the bright orange color is easy to spot against the contrast of the blue sea. The same if the astronauts need to make an emergency landing by parachute. Nowadays the astronauts are fitted with GPS tracking but in the past, this did not exist and the color of the suit was hugely important. With technological advancements in recent years, there are now numerous ways to protect the astronauts. This is the reason space agencies have been developing suits in different colors. In 2017 NASA introduced the first dark blue spacesuit.
Nice idea to have the choice to wear spacesuits in different colors, but this has a function. NASA is in the process of undertaking the longest space expedition ever, with Mars as its destination. During this three-year journey, there is a risk of people becoming depressed, bored and anxious. People work under enormous pressure in a small environment for a long period of time. For this reason, designers are busy developing different color suits where astronauts can choose for themselves which colors to wear. Because color can influence your mood! And so you see, even in space appearance is important 😉