New suits to en­sure com­fort on mis­sion

China Daily (USA) - - CHINA - By CHENG YINGQI chengy­ingqi@chi­nadaily.com.cn

The new line of uni­forms for Chi­nese as­tro­nauts is bring­ing a fresh wind of navy blue to the skies.

At a news con­fer­ence on Sun­day, one day ahead of the launch of the manned space­craft Shen­zhou XI, as­tro­nauts Jing Haipeng and Chen Dong ap­peared in the newly de­signed as­tro­naut suits that fea­ture dif­fer­ent shades of navy blue.

“Be­fore we de­signed the new suit line, Chi­nese as­tro­nauts only had one pair of blue over­alls that they wore both in space and on Earth, which can­not en­sure their com­fort in var­i­ous cir­cum­stances,” said Li Jun, dean of the Fash­ion Art De­sign In­sti­tute of Donghua Univer­sity in Shang­hai, who was in charge of de­sign­ing the suits.

The univer­sity co­op­er­ated with the As­tro­naut Cen­ter of China last year to de­sign as­tro­nauts’ at­tire, which in­clude in-or­bit suits, on-ground suits and ac­ces­sories.

Li said tech­nolo­gies adopted in the spe­cial de­sign could be ex­ploited in other sports­wear in the fu­ture.

“Be­sides com­fort dur­ing phys­i­cal ac­tiv­i­ties, it is also nec­es­sary to choose a color that brings calm­ness to the as­tro­nauts in the nar­row en­vi­ron­ment of the space station,” he said.

The de­sign­ers also de­vel­oped other uni­forms for liv­ing in outer space. For ex­am­ple, a spe­cial gym suit was de­signed for as­tro­nauts while run­ning on the tread­mill or cy­cling.

“The de­sign of the as­tro­nauts’ at­tire is much bet­ter than the uni­forms I have seen be­fore,” said Wang Jingyi, a graphic de­signer in Bei­jing.

“The in­tegrity of de­sign is bet­ter, and the col­ors of dark and light blue matches nicely and cor­re­sponds with the char­ac­ter of space,” she said.

FENG YONGBIN / CHINA DAILY

As­tro­nauts Jing Haipeng (left) and Chen Dong salute at the Ji­uquan Satel­lite Launch Cen­ter in North­west China be­fore the coun­try launched the Shen­zhou XI manned space­craft on Monday morn­ing.

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