At Rocket Women, we believe that the space industry is for everyone. Which is why we are SO EXCITED to announce Creating Space by Morgan Stanley! We’ve been honoured to contribute to this incredible project, helping to design The Access I, Morgan Stanley’s conceptual model spacesuit, designed and worn by Rocket Women Founder Vinita alongside a group of experts. Designed to be inherently inclusive compared to spacesuits of the past which have historically not fit smaller astronauts that tend to be women.
Rocket Women are thrilled to inspire the next generation to build the world of the future through this phenomenal project. A world of tomorrow that’s built with inclusive design at the forefront, built by everyone and for everybody. From spacesuits to step foot on the surface of the Moon, to powerful AI algorithms and novel facial recognition systems, at Rocket Women we believe that we need to ensure that the creators of these systems represent the range of backgrounds and experiences of the diverse community that will use them, to prevent biases from being implemented into the design.
The Access I concept spacesuit features an adjustable torso component that allows fit for a range of body types and improved joint components providing improved mobility. Astronauts have previously used techniques including padding to fit larger sized spacesuit Hard Upper Torso components in the case where smaller sizes of suit parts are unavailable. The Access I includes an inflatable bladder component in the upper torso to provide this adjustable sizing, allowing the spacesuit to fit snugly onto the astronaut’s body to prevent inertia involved in beginning, stopping and changing direction during a spacewalk.
Upper body mobility whilst wearing a spacesuit is crucial as a spacewalk is similar to an intricately choreographed ballet using your hands. The spacesuit needs to be fitted to allow the joints of the suit to line up with the joints of your body, allowing the suit to move much like your body. The Access I was designed with this in mind, bringing the shoulder bearings of the suit much closer to the centre of the body – aligning the shoulders of the suit with that of smaller astronauts in particular. This not only allows an astronaut wearing the suit to move more naturally, but also helps to prevent shoulder injuries whilst wearing a spacesuit, as seen in some current spacesuit designs, and provides increased reach whilst wearing the spacesuit.
Alongside, this remarkable conceptual spacesuit, Rocket Women have also supported the creation of an amazing exhibition about spacesuit design. Morgan Stanley’s stunning Creating Space event took place in Times Square, NYC in October 2022, inspiring hundreds of people, especially young women, that visited in-person and through the online portal. The event allowed visitors to ‘experience space and imagine yourself as part of the next generation of astronauts during an immersive visual event that will transport you from the Moon to Mars and distant galaxies!’. Rocket Women Founder, Vinita spent the day with an incredible group of #FutureRocketWomen sharing the importance of inclusive design in the space industry. Incredibly, every visitor to the event had the chance to see themselves on the screens in Times Square, wearing the Access I model spacesuit!
On the Creating Space campaign, Rocket Women Founder Vinita said, “Growing up, I didn’t see anyone that looked like me in the space industry and I understand that representation really matters. I’m so excited for Creating Space to inspire the next generation to create the world of the future. As Sally Ride, the first American woman in space, said, ‘You can’t be what you can’t see.'”
“Since 1965 over 240 astronauts have conducted spacewalks. Only 17 were women.” We’re long-overdue for change.
“Since 1965, over 240 astronauts have conducted spacewalks. Only 17 were women.” We’re long overdue for change. The phenomenal Creating Space film, created by CNN’s Courageous Studios for Morgan Stanley, highlights the importance of inclusive spacesuit design and creating equity in space. Watch this amazing film here and view stills from the inspirational film below.