A technology project to produce a new space suit for planetary applications started in January of 1997, with a thermal vacuum test of the system, including a suited crew member, expected in the year 2000. This will be a progress report on the activities that occurred during the project's first year. The four year project is funded out of Code M at NASA Headquarters and is an effort to integrate the latest EVA technology into a maintainable modular design. The project will use as much off-the-shelf hardware as practical in an effort to lower development cost and decrease development time. Three pressurized garment configurations will be evaluated and two different portable life support systems will be built. The first year was primarily spent developing laboratories, bench-top working laboratory subsystems, analytical models, and the overall requirements and architecture of the system.