This is the first picture of a spacesuit from SpaceX, the aerospace company owned by Elon Musk.
Musk shared the image on his Instagram page teasing that there would be more details following in the coming days.
The innovator wrote: “First picture of SpaceX spacesuit. More in days to follow. Worth noting that this actually works (not a mockup). Already tested to double vacuum pressure. Was incredibly hard to balance esthetics (sic) and function. Easy to do either separately.”
It is noticeably less bulky than those currently worn by astronauts when travelling to the International Space Station (ISS). SpaceX already handles cargo supplies to the space station, the most recent taking place on August 14, and is working towards transporting astronauts too.
This suit would be worn by astronauts on board Crew Dragon, designed to ferry humans to the ISS which orbits some 250 miles above the Earth. Once operational, Crew Dragon would mean manned launches returning to the US. Currently all astronauts are launched into space from a Russian-backed cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.
The Crew Dragon, as well as Boeing’s Starliner, is expected to begin flight tests with astronauts in 2018.
Boeing revealed details of its Starliner suit in January.