What Is An Astronaut’s Space Suit Made of and Why Doesn’t the Space Suit Explode In the Vacuum of Space?

The space suits worn by United States astronauts are made of several layers of super strong fibers and other materials that are tough enough not to rupture in the vacuum of space.

The materials in the nine or ten protective layers include:

1. Orthofabric, which is Teflon with Kevlar ripstop protection.

2. A layer of aluminized Mylar film reinforced with Dacron scrim.

3. Neoprene-coated nylon cloth.

4. Dacron cloth.

5. Polyurethane-coated nylon cloth.

6. Dipped polyurethane film.

7. Multifilament stretch nylon.

8. Ethylene vinyl acetate tubing for the water coolant.

9. A nylon chiffon lining for body comfort.

But the pull of the vacuum is not the main threat they are guarding against.

More immediate dangers are loss of internal pressurization because of a tiny hole from a rnicrometeorite and exposure to extremely high or extremely low temperatures, depending on whether the astronauts are on the side of the earth that is toward or away from the sun.

The astronauts’ backpacks provide the pressurization for their life support system, maintaining a breathable atmosphere and temperature control.

About Karen Hill

Karen Hill is a freelance writer, editor, and columnist. Born in New York, her work has appeared in the Examiner, Yahoo News, Buzzfeed, among others.

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