Large zippers: One runs down the back, making it a rear-entry suit, and the other secures the helmet to the main body. A rear zipper, as opposed to a side or front zipper, enables quicker self-donning capability for the astronaut. The helmet zipper provides a seal for pressurization. 6 | FRONTIERS 2017 Smaller zippers across the front, when left open, allow the astronauts to assume a normal standing position. When seated, crew members keep the front zippers closed, adjusting to torso length. Two valves extend out of the abdomen region of the spacesuit. One connects to an umbilical that allows air to enter the suit; the other controls suit pressurization. Soft helmet: With less weight and more flexibility than the hard helmets worn in past space missions, the Starliner version also has a wide visor—the only part of the helmet that provides a hard surface—for greater peripheral vision.
Frontiers Special Report 2017 January
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