The vacuum survival helmet, together with the associated survival suit and backpack, is designed to provide an individual with protection from the negative effects of hard vacuum. The vast majority of sentient species, with the notable exception of the Diathim, are not able to survive exposure to vacuum for any appreciable period of time. The vacuum survival system provides the wearer with a safe pocket of suitable atmosphere in which to work or live for a short period.
While they will be designed for the needs of individual species, most vacuum survival helmets will have the following features. Firstly, a rigid outer shell to provide a measure of impact protection. Secondly, a collar that mates perfectly with the associated survival suit to provide a sealed environment for the wearer. The helmet will have heating elements, as well as connections to the backpack’s supply of breathable air. It will also contain communication systems and will usually feature a clear visor, often with a movable tinted layer to provide protection from bright light. Some more expensive models will also feature enhanced, augmented reality displays within the helmet's visor, allowing the wearer to monitor their position, relative speed, life support levels, and other relevant data.