Posted on Friday, July 11, 2014
By Kadri
  U.S. Spacesuits by Kenneth S. Thomson and Harold J. McMann

Spacesuits are some of the most iconic parts of manned spaceflight and their fascinating history goes back more than fifty years.

This book shows how spacesuits have changed through time and gone from silvery Mercury mission suits to the white beta-cloth covered EVA suits that are in a way small independent spacecrafts.

Although it is obvious that spacesuits are necessary for astronauts at different stages of spaceflight, the common news-reader would usually not really think what really goes into the design of such an elaborate system that has to protect the astronaut from the vacuum of space and from both high and low temperatures and at the same time have a suitable inner environment with precise levels

of oxigen and nitrogen, make sure that the air humidity doesn’t get to uncomfortable levels and eliminate carbon dioxide from the astronaut’s helmet.

In this fascinating book the reader will get a comprehensive look into everything about the American spacesuits, how they came about and why are they the way they are – for example why the clothing that astronauts wore during takeoff and landing were/are bright orange instead of dark blue. And of-course the different systems that are incorporated into specific spacesuits make for interesting reading as one finds out whether or not it's possible to eat or drink something while wearing a spacesuit and why different waste disposal systems are necessary.

In addition to finding out more about the spacesuits, the book is also important as the reader finds out about the people who are behind spacesuit design, as usually one wouldn't even think much about who or why designed one small but important component for spaceflight.

U.S. Spacesuits is the perfect book for a space flight enthusiast, as it goes into great detail about spacesuits and manages to make it obvious how and why spacesuits are important.

The book is also full of images of different spacesuits, some that were in use in the earlier missions, but also more modern versions, and one can't forget some of the still conceptual designs, which look quite unusual.

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