The Starliner will be launched from a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket, and is part of NASA's operational Commercial Crew mission to bring astronauts to the International Space Station, allowing it to grow to seven residents.
According to Boeing, the Blue is 40 percent lighter than current NASA suits, coming it at only 12 lb (5.4 kg) as opposed to 30 lb (13.6 kg).
But, the trim design still meets NASA's safety and functionality requirements. Richard Watson the subsystems manager for spacesuits for NASA's Commercial Crew Program shares that the suit serves as an emergency backup for astronauts to the spacecraft's life support systems.
"The most important part is that the suit will keep you alive", astronaut Eric Boe said in a statement from NASA.
Boeing's new suit is a far departure from the bulky marshmallow-looking suits we typically picture. The so-called "Boeing Blue" suit will be worn by all Starliner crew members during launch, ascent and re-entry and will be customized for each crew member to maximize protection, capability and comfort.
The suit's "hood-like" soft helmet has a wide polycarbonate visor to give the passengers better peripheral vision throughout their ride to and from space. There are also zips in the torso to allow the wearer to move from sitting to standing comfortably. Its material also features vents that let water out but keep air inside. No more stuffy suits! The astronauts have been training in mockups of the Starliner, to ensure that they can perform all the required operations while wearing the suits.
100 Starliner spacecraft is being developed in collaboration with NASA's Commercial Crew Program.
During the test, Hopkins and Ferguson got into a mockup version of the Starliner spacecraft to test the suit's mobility.
The updated schedule will then have a Pad Abort test happen at the White Sands test facility in January 2018, followed by an unmanned test mission June that year. It's like having a fire extinguisher close by in the cockpit. It's just that the new one looks more smoothed out than the one in the movie.
Like the Starliner, the SpaceX's Dragon development has taken longer than expected, but the aeronautics newcomer hopes to start flights in 2018, two years before the date Russian Federation has threatened to stop shuttling Americans to the ISS.