Elon Musk shows off SpaceX's custom spacesuit

This is not a mockup. It's the real thing.

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Elon Musk / Instagram
Elon Musk / Instagram

Ladies and gentleman, meet the SpaceX spacesuit. Elon Musk just came through with the first pic of the astronaut gear via his Instagram. And, even though it's not a full look at the suit, it offers plenty to pick apart. Like, why is the American flag on the arm the wrong way round? (Although, that could be due to the image being flipped.) Speculation aside, let's start with what we know so far. Musk claims this is not a mockup, meaning it's a real-life, working spacesuit. That's cool, because (by the looks of things) it's all about mobility.

The SpaceX spacesuit's already been tested to double vacuum pressure, according to Musk. And, we're assuming it passed those trials, along with the ocean landing mobility and safety runs. By far its most striking feature is its slim, fitted design. Most contemporary, and even next-gen spacesuits, look bulky and utilitarian. The SpaceX spacesuit, on the other hand, looks a lot lighter. Which makes sense, seeing as it was crafted by a Hollywood costume designer, renowned for making Batman and Wolverine's figure-hugging outfits.

The helmet also seems to offer plenty of visibility, although less so than NASA's future Z-2 suit. Musk claims it was "hard to balance" aesthetic with functionality. For the most part, the design seems to keep things simple. There are minimal grey lines and patches that sit nicely alongside its traditional white coloring. Its closest comparisons in the world of cinema are probably the suits worn in Interstellar, and (appropriately) The Martian.

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Musk is keen to milk this unveiling for all it's worth, so expect more shots over the coming days. The suit may eventually be worn by astronauts on NASA's commercial crew program.

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Elon Musk shows off SpaceX's custom spacesuit