When space heroes Fei Junlong and Nie Haisheng unhurriedly entered the
Shenzhou VI manned spacecraft before they started their space trip, people could
see their dashing bearing on TV, and notice the cabin spacesuits they wore. The
kind of spacesuits they wore is white in color with a few blue stripes, the
Five-Star Red Flag (national flag of the People's Republic of China) and
Shenzhou's insignia on it.
The spacesuits are by no means the props for the manned space flight
program; they are actually special suits which astronauts must wear when they
perform their space flight missions in order to ensure their safety. Astronauts
must wear cabin spacesuits during the lift-off, orbital changes, rendezvous
docking, returning to the earth or orbital flight of spacecraft lest spacecraft
has emergency cabin pressure problem. The cabin spacesuit is also called
pressurized suit attached with adjustable oxygen supply system. Normally a cabin
spacesuit consists of a garment, a headgear, a pair of glove and a pair of
boots. In case cabin is depressurized, the spacesuit is able to maintain the
required pressure inside the suit, to ensure oxygen supply to astronaut, and to
remove carbon dioxide in the suit, thus it can prevent astronaut from being
harmed by depressurization and hypoxia. In a word, the function of the cabin
spacesuit is to save the life of astronaut under emergent conditions.
The cabin spacesuit is normally a kind of flexible and soft spacesuit made
up of six layers. The headgear, connected with the garment, is required to
provide clear vision through the headgear' face window. Condensation should not
occur on the face window when astronaut wears the spacesuit lest it would
obstruct astronaut's line of vision. At the same time, the joint of headgear
with garment must be airtight, free from any leakage.
As a matter of fact, astronauts wear different suits at different time
period in space in light of their different missions. For example, astronauts
can wear leisure long-sleeved or short-sleeved shirts and slippers inside space
shuttle or working cabin of space stations.
By Wu Chuansheng
(Oct. 19, PLA Daily)