Advanced Crew Escape Suit

The Advanced Crew Escape Suit or ACES (English for Evolved crew rescue suit) is a pressure suit that was worn since the resumption of the shuttle program after the Challenger disaster of all astronauts aboard the U.S. space shuttle during launch and landing of the space shuttle. The suit is a development of pressure suits the SR -71, X -15 and U-2 pilots and the launch entry suits NASA. The suits were manufactured by the David Clark Company in Worcester (Massachusetts ).


The ACES consisted of the following parts:

  • A one-piece suit with integrated pressure relief diaphragm and ventilation system. Oxygen is supplied through a connection at the left hip and further to the helmet via a special valve in the connecting ring in the neck. Helmet and gloves are connected with gray- metal quick connect rings with the suit. The outer fabric is made of Nomex in color International Orange. This color is to facilitate the search for space travelers about at a ditching.
  • A helmet with a visor and a lockable black sunscreen over it. A communication cover is worn under the helmet. This hood is brownish and identical with that of the Russian Sokol space suits. Older suits had white hoods. The hood was connected via a plug on the inside of the helmet with the communication system of the Space Shuttle. A vent valve at the rear part of the helmet allows the discharge of carbon dioxide. The transparent front window is closed with a locking mechanism that can be easily operated even with gloves.
  • Two gloves that were attached like the helmet with a locking ring. They have the same color as the rest of the suit. The inner surface of the glove is texturized, to facilitate the operation of the switches and the control of the shuttle.
  • Two black parachutist leather boots with zippers.
  • A survival backpack that was created before boarding the orbiter. This included, among other things, a parachute with eight meters in diameter, an inflatable boat and an emergency ration drinking water ( two liters).