Space garb is entering a new dimension, propelled by competition among private ventures seeking to carry NASA astronauts—and eventually private citizens—into orbit

In “Star Trek,” Lieutenant Uhura wore a miniskirt and go-go boots. Astronauts in “2001: A Space Odyssey” floated in snug orange, yellow and blue space suits. Jane Fonda’s interstellar Barbarella sported a see-through top.

Real astronaut Neil Armstrong wore a bulky Michelin Man moon suit, and from 1995 space shuttle astronauts launching into orbit wore orange outfits known as “pumpkin suits.” Scientists today on the international space station bounce around in frat-house fashion staples, including cargo shorts from Nebraska-based...

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