University in Songjiang outfits Shenzhou astronauts

Yang Yang
Spacesuits and cabin shoes used for the space journey of the three astronauts aboard the Shenzhou-12 were designed by Donghua University.
Yang Yang

Spacesuits and cabin shoes used for the space journey of the three astronauts aboard the Shenzhou-12 were designed by Donghua University, which has one of its campuses in Songjiang District's University Town.

China on June 17 successfully launched its first crewed mission for the construction of the space station Tiangong. Its three astronauts, Nie Haisheng, Liu Boming and Tang Hongbo, are expected to spend three months in its space station core module Tianhe.

The astronaut-costume research and development team from Donghua University designed all the clothing for the astronauts, including working, exercising, leisure and zero-gravity protection spacesuits and ordinary and training uniforms on earth.

During the send-off ceremony on June 16, the three astronauts, wearing ordinary uniforms designed by the Songjiang university, appeared at the Wentiange square of the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in northwest China.

"Spacesuits for Chinese astronauts should prioritize their functionality, then their good appearance. Our team, by integrating unique Chinese elements into the costumes' fabrics, color patterns and details, aimed to build a good image for Chinese astronauts," said Li Jun, chief of the Donghua University astronaut-costume R&D team, and dean of the university's College of Fashion and Design.

The university's contribution to China's aerospace exploration dates back to the 1980s. In 2016, spacesuits designed by the university were used in China's Shenzhou-11 manned space mission.

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