New suits to ensure comfort on mission
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.
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.