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Christmas Gift Guide

A converted high-altitude aircraft pressure suit

John Glenn's Mercury space suit

Neil Armstrong's Gemini G-2C

G3C space suits

Manned Maneuvering Unit

Apollo A7L

Ejection escape suit

An Apollo space suit

Orange launch and entry gear

Russian Orlan space suit

AX-5 hard-shell space suit

NASA lunar robot demonstration

Z-1 space suit

MX-2

And next, the Bio-Suit?

Gordon Cooper, one of the original seven Mercury astronauts in 1959, is seen here in an early generation space suit -- a crude, tin foil-like converted US Navy high-altitude jet aircraft pressure suit, with an outer layer of aluminized nylon.

Space suits have gone through regular upgrades and innovations through the years, adding features built with new materials to give astronauts the protection and comfort they need during launch and re-entry, performing spacewalks at the International Space Station, or walking on the moon.
Caption by / Photo by NASA
John Glenn, who later wore a space shuttle suit, appears in his Mercury space suit.
Caption by / Photo by NASA
Neil Armstrong, the first man on the moon, seen here in a Gemini G-2C training suit.
Caption by / Photo by NASA
In 1965, Gus Grissom and John Young flew the first Gemini mission. The G3C space suits required them to carry portable air conditioners.
Caption by / Photo by NASA
In February 1984, Bruce McCandless became the first astronaut to float in space untethered, thanks to a jetpack-like device called the Manned Maneuvering Unit, or MMU.

Updated December 14, 2013 to correctly identify the astronaut.
Caption by / Photo by NASA
The Apollo A7L space suit worn by astronaut Buzz Aldrin on Apollo 11 in 1969.
Caption by / Photo by NASA
When the first shuttle flight, STS-1, lifted off on April 12, 1981, astronauts John Young and Robert Crippen wore the ejection escape suit modeled here. It's a modified version of a US Air Force high-altitude pressure suit.
Caption by / Photo by NASA
Alan Shepard, who was the first American in space and later flew to the moon, tries on an Apollo space suit.
Caption by / Photo by NASA
The orange launch and entry gear worn on the space shuttle is nicknamed the "pumpkin suit."
Caption by / Photo by NASA
Astronaut Edward Fincke, Expedition 9 NASA ISS science officer and flight engineer, wearing a Russian Orlan space suit, participates in the third of four sessions of extravehicular activities (EVA) performed by the Expedition 9 crew during their six-month mission.
Caption by / Photo by NASA
An experimental AX-5 hard-shell space suit from NASA is seen here in a photo from 1998.
Caption by / Photo by NASA
This is what one "astronaut of the future" looked like during a NASA lunar robot demonstration at Moses Lake, Wash., in 1998.
Caption by / Photo by NASA
This Z-1 is a new space suit prototype, seen here in an image released late last year, which might be put into use as early as 2015. Z-1 is the first prototype in the next-generation design, a versatile suit which reinvents the ways astronauts experience space that is being developed under NASA's Advanced Exploration Systems' suit project.
Caption by / Photo by NASA
The MX-2 is a forward-looking ongoing research project, constantly evolving and improving. Many research papers have been published about the MX-2, including at the International Conference on Environmental Systems (ICES), the International Astronautical Congress (IAC) and at AIAA conferences. These papers highlight the use of the MX-2 as a tool to investigate advanced space suit technologies and to research human-robotic interaction. Many of these papers can be found here.
Caption by / Photo by University of Maryland's Space Systems Laboratory
Bio-Suit is a "second skin" futuristic space activity suit designed to facilitate movement that's under development at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Bio-Suit is custom fit to each wearer, using laser body scanning, and incorporates wearable technologies, with hardware and software suited to each mission.
Caption by / Photo by Photo Credit: Professor Dava Newman: Inventor, Science Engineering; Guillermo Trotti, A.I.A., Trotti and Associates, Inc. (Cambridge, MA): Design; Dainese (Vincenca, Italy): Fabrication; Douglas Sonders: Photography
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