SpaceX founder Elon Musk posted the “first picture” of his company’s new spacesuit on social media Aug. 23.
The photograph shows a sleek, mostly white suit buckled into what seems to be a spacecraft. A man’s face appears in the helmet behind a tinted shield.
The spacesuit, which vaguely resembles the uniform of a Star Wars Stormtrooper, is designed to balance aesthetics and functionality and has begun undergoing testing, Musk typed on Instagram. The suit “actually works” and is “not a mockup," he said.
Musk pledged to disclose more details about the spacesuit in the “days to follow.”
In January, Boeing [BA] unveiled a mostly blue spacesuit with a soft, hood-like helmet that astronauts will wear on the company’s new CST-100 Starliner spacecraft. The Starliner and SpaceX’s new Crew Dragon are both supposed to transport people to the International Space Station under NASA’s Commercial Crew program.
Flight tests of both spacecraft are expected to begin in 2018. According to NASA, SpaceX and Boeing will conduct unmanned flights in February and June, respectively, and manned flights in June and August, respectively.