Suiting up for the final frontier isn't just about looks of course, it's about surviving and working in one of the harshest environments possible – an environment that will kill you in just 20 seconds without some high-tech protection. So what exactly is a spacesuit, and what will the spacefaring fashionistas of the future be wearing?
The next decade will see a major return to manned spaceflight as NASA starts its Orion deep space missions, China develops its own space station, and commercial companies compete with the Russian space agency to ferry crews to the International Space Station (ISS). Then there's plans to send tourists into space on suborbital junkets or to visit hotels in low Earth orbit, as well as return astronauts to the Moon or land on Mars.
One important factor in these plans is that space travelers are going to need new and more advanced spacesuits to meet new challenges. There are already projects for many different type of suits, but for each new idea there are many misconceptions about what a spacesuit is and what it does.