On Wednesday, SpaceX CEO Elon Musk unveiled the image of a new, white spacesuit designed for SpaceX’s crewed flights scheduled in 2018. Musk posted the image on Instagram, stating that the person in the new suit is a SpaceX engineer and not him. The Instagram image suggests the suit is sleek, similar to the outfit used by the white Power Rangers.

According to Musk, the new suit is not a mockup, it actually works. It has already undergone double vacuum pressure tests. Musk revealed it was a difficult task for engineers to balance functions and esthetics in this suit.

Spacesuit designing is not an easy task

Designing a spacesuit for astronauts is surely not an easy task. A spacesuit must protect astronauts from harmful radiations in space, and at the same time, it should be flexible enough to allow astronauts to carry out experiments during their space missions. Earlier this year, Boeing unveiled first pictures of its newest line of spacesuits, with touchscreen-friendly gloves and weighing just 20 pounds.

SpaceX scientists are currently working on a crew version of their Dragon cargo capsule to carry NASA astronauts into space. Since 2011, NASA has been relying on Russian rockets to get its astronauts to the International Space Station, but now the agency wants American companies to carry out this task for it.

Two years back, NASA awarded contracts to SpaceX and Boeing to create crew capsules that would take US astronauts to ISS. SpaceX was awarded a $2.6 billion contract for development of the Crew Dragon spacecraft and to execute a minimum of two crew rotation missions to the ISS. Boeing was also awarded a $4.2 billion contract for developing CST-100 Starliner capsule and conducting at least two crew rotation missions for the American space agency.

Last December, SpaceX announced that its SpaceX’s Crew Dragon spaceship would not be ready until at least May 2018. In September 2016, a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket exploded at the launch pad at Cape Canaveral during a ground test. Following the blast, SpaceX announced that it needs more time to assess their design systems.

Musk’s plans for Mars

Musk, a space enthusiast, is also determined to send humans to Mars at the earliest. Last year, in his keynote speech at the International Astronautical Congress, he revealed about SpaceX’s plan to send a manned mission to Mars by 2022. He, however, knows that before reaching Mars, SpaceX will have to accomplish manned missions to Earth’s orbit and around the moon.