Space suits have come a long way since they were first used to protect pilots venturing just outside the earth, but they still have quite a ways to go. For decades now, the American and Russian space programs have been improving astronauts' suits little by little, making them safer, more maneuverable, and better equipped for emergencies.

But they're still far from perfect: no suit is truly easy to put on or move around in, and that's something that space agencies and private institutions will have to contend with if they really want to give astronauts the chance to explore the moon or Mars. From some of the first suits to an almost science-fiction dream of the future, here's where the space suit started and where some of the most incredible experiments show that they’re going.

All images credit NASA unless otherwise noted. Above: OEWF / Zanella Kux.