Space travel is all about incredible feats of science and engineering and the push for humanity to expand beyond Earth and discover more about where we’ve come from but there’s no denying visuals are important. Historically the space race has also been about countries establishing themselves as leaders in the field, creating an image for themselves through their technology and their astronauts; being an astronaut and leaving Earth is an iconic thing and there’s an element of modern heroism about it. It’s no surprise, therefore, that Elon Musk wants his eventual SpaceX astronauts to look as amazing as possible and he’s hired Hollywood costume designer Jose Fernandez to make sure that happens.
Fernandez has designed costumes for films such as The Avengers, Iron Man, and Tron: Legacy so it’s safe to say he has a good track record when it comes to creating things that look cool and heroic. In an interview with Bleep Magazine he said that Musk had reached out to him and several other companies to create something “stylish” and “practical” and that in the end Musk preferred his design:
“They had two weeks to present the suit to him and I told them I couldn’t do a full suit in two weeks but that I may be able to do a helmet. There were four other companies working on bids as well and at the end of the process, he hated everything except the helmet. I worked with him for six months and at the end of that, we created a suit that they are now reverse-engineering to make functional for flight.”
It’s certainly an interesting approach to put form before function in something where the function is important enough to be a matter of life and death but then again we wouldn’t expect Elon Musk to stick to the status quo when it comes to something as visually important as a space mission’s uniform and it’s not necessarily a bad approach. Perhaps by establishing the look they want first and creating a challenge to work around Space X will manage to perform revolutionary feats of engineering and create suits that not only look better than any we’ve ever had before but perform better too.
Fernandez stated that the designs will be released in the next few months and we can’t deny we’re excited to see them; we’ve already got cosplay plans.
Image via Flickr © Robin Parker