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Far-out space suit image gallery

Far-out space suit image gallery

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Far-out space suit image gallery

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Mercury suit
The first outfits ever worn into space were high-altitude pressure suits that had been repurposed for more daring missions. Russian cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin took the first flight wearing the SK-1 suit in April 1961, followed by American astronaut Alan Shepard less than a month later. Shepard's outfit (above, worn by astronaut Gordon Cooper) was based off a Navy suit called the Mark IV, and was designed for both wearer comfort and to serve as a backup oxygen source. On later missions, floatation devices were added in case a wearer had to make a water landing.