Spacesuits or suits for space. The name appears explicitly clear. However as there is no definitive boundary marking the edge of Earth’s gradually diminishing atmosphere and the start of space, apart from a few more incontrovertible examples in our mind’s eye, we may feel that the actual parameters of the spacesuit concept are rather nebulous.
That being said, as the ‘Karman Line’ (100km above sea level) for legal purposes continues to be internationally recognised as the ‘edge of space’ it could be concluded that any type of flight suit worn by a human who does not rise to at least this altitude cannot truly be called a spacesuit. In reality the term is rarely used as narrowly as this.
Tin Man or Cyberman? Before the spacewalk era some of the original USAF design prototypes, such as this 1959 ‘Mark I’ ELSS (Extravehicular and Lunar Surface Suit) tended to resemble the more mysterious creations of science fiction. (Image credit: USAF via Wikimedia Commons)
The reason being that as humans move skyward, many of the crucial extreme-altitude technologies, all of which ultimately feature in even the famous EMU spacesuit outside the ISS, must often be incorporated into these other flight ...