Check out the cool new designs for future European spacesuits

While the European Space Agency has no plans to build its own spacesuits any time soon, it does want to be ready. ESA recently organized the Space Suit Design Competition, allowing the public to submit designs for future European extravehicular activity (EVA) suits.

The competition received 90 submissions and the experts selected five winners. This first project, above, was created by Oussama Guarraz, focusing on “modernity, cutting-edge technology, innovation and sustainability”.

Below is another design, by Joo Montenegro.

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Another of the winning projects, this one by Joo Montenegro. This design includes a visual chest display, an articulating neckline to allow for agility in head movement, a visual chest display to indicate information to team members, a modular head support, and fully integrated gloves and boots to prevent ‘regolith infiltration. Credit: Joo Montenegro/ESA.

ESA has invited all winners to an event and tour at the European Astronaut Center (EAC) near Cologne, Germany.

I am convinced that in the coming decades the time will come when an ESA astronaut will don a European space suit to further explore the surfaces of the Moon and Mars, said Herv Stevenin, head of EVA and parabolic flight training at the ‘EAC. With this event at the European Astronaut Centre, our imaginations have taken a small step in this exciting direction.”

The five winners of ESA’s Space Suit Design Competition. Credit: ESA.

The competition has encouraged the general public to imagine what a future European extravehicular activity (EVA) suit might look like. Each design had to incorporate a few things: the extreme conditions spacewalking suits must endure to protect our astronauts, and a new type of suit that would be instantly recognizable to future ESA astronauts.

There were some “spacesuit must haves” as seen in the image below, such as a backpack for a life support system and a visor in the helmet. ESA said it wanted the designs to emphasize ESA’s visual identity and branding rather than technical details, while maintaining realism. The competition was open to anyone interested in space and design.

Rules for the ESA space suit design competition. Credit: ESA

An exploration judging panel included ESA astronaut Matthias Maurer. The winners of the competition presented their ideas to EAC staff, including ESA astronaut candidates, and visited the facilities where future astronauts are currently receiving basic training.

In his proposal, Guarraz wrote: The color choice for our space suit focuses on a vibrant, modern color palette, including electric blue, bright white, and silver gray. We chose this color combination to convey a message of high technology and clarity. We also added geometric patterns on the spacesuit to create a unique texture inspired by European artistic designs. These motifs add a touch of elegance and originality to the space suit, recalling the importance of art and culture in European identity.

Winners of ESA’s space suit design competition at EAC: Oussama Guarraz, Alberto Piovesan, Maurizio De Vincentiis, Gio Montenegro, and Flavio Gentile. Credit: ESA.

ESA said the judging panel is now working on fusing elements of the submitted ideas to create an ESA-branded spacesuit design. This design could, for example, be used to produce replica suits for exhibitions or filmmakers, to educate and inspire people about space exploration and ESA’s activities in this area.

Perhaps in the future, ESA will develop its own functional space suit, and this competition will mark a first step on one of the paths ESA could take to develop its own autonomous route to space, the space agency said.

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