One of the most important fuctions of a space suit is to maintain the body's pressure against the vacuum of space. This is usually accomplished by constructing big, bulky, semirigid pressurized outfits like the one Neil Armstrong wore to the Moon. Not very sexy.
But that's not the only possible approach. During the 1960s, NASA and engineer Paul Webb worked on developing a Space Activity Suit (SAS) that would apply stable pressure against the skin by using skin-tight elastic garments. Such a suit ideally would give the wearer greater movement and flexibility. And would look much better on the covers of SF Magazines.
NASA dropped the SAS research in the early '70s, but the Massachusets Institute of Technology is working on a project called the Bio Suit, utilizing based on the SAS design.
Game and Story Use
- If you want to have cute girls in form-fitting space suits in your space opera campaign, SAS technology is a nice bit of technobabble to justify it.
- That is, if you really feel a need to justify it.
- The presence of such suits might be a sign of a technology advanced enough not to need bulky pressure suits to protect against the vacuum of space.