>>7573268>on the topic of form-fitting space suits
There are 3 reasons why wearing a space suit is necessary:
-Keep them warm/cool
-Keep them supplied with oxygen
-keep 8-15psi of pressure applied to their skin.
Way back in 50s and 60s, insulation was bulky, re-breather systems large, compression systems even larger. Everything about spacesuits was cumbersome. The only design that could work was a pressure suit, and by the time the space race was wrapping up, we had improved in most of these areas, but the money had dried up. "It worked then, it'll work now" became the attitude.
Today, our ability to manage the thermal challenges of space and miniaturize life support so much that we've begun to experiment with a new kind of space suit: compression suits. Form fitting suits that maintain pressure on the wearer's skin through a compressing material instead of by sticking them inside a giant balloon.
The advantage of compression-based suits are:
-Potentially greater mission endurance
The side affect is they make cyclist and scuba wear look like bulky winter clothing. They leave NOTHING to the imagination.
Source: I occasionally hang around the MIT lab that has been working on them.