Pumpkins in Space
An interactive guide to all those gizmos on NASA's orange space suits.
Many astronaut accessories will be shelved when NASA's last shuttle mission returns Thursday, and perhaps none represents the era of manned spaceflight better than the spacesuit itself. During the launch and the landing, NASA astronauts wear something called the Advanced Crew Escape Suit, often called the "pumpkin suit" because of its color. These elaborate garments include incredibly sophisticated technology for temperature and pressure control and are equipped with dozens of gadgets for every conceivable emergency as the astronauts leave and return to Earth.
The following annotated photo offers a guide to every gizmo and decoration on the suit. Just hover over the highlighted sections to find out what each part does.
Above are space shuttle Atlantis astronauts (right to left) Cmdr. Chris Ferguson, pilot Doug Hurley, and Mission Specialists Sandra Magnus and Rex Walheim.
Correction, July 21, 2011:The annotation on Hurley's left chest originally misidentified the NASA "meatball" patch as the STS-135 mission patch (on his right chest) and vice versa..
Photograph of space shuttle Atlantis astronauts (right to left) Cmdr. Chris Ferguson, pilot Doug Hurley, and Mission Specialists Sandra Magnus and Rex Walheim by Don Emmert/AFP/Getty Images.