Elon Musk Shares a Full Look at SpaceX's Sci-Fi Inspired Spacesuits

Friday, 08 September 2017 - 6:46PM
Technology
Space
SpaceX
Friday, 08 September 2017 - 6:46PM
Elon Musk Shares a Full Look at SpaceX's Sci-Fi Inspired Spacesuits
SpaceX
As part of his ongoing mission to boldly go where no vacation provider has gone before, Elon Musk has taken another step towards making space tourism look like a fun, cinematic adventure, rather than a claustrophobic nausea trip.

A couple of weeks ago, we got a first look at the sleek, shiny spacesuits that tourists on SpaceX's Dragon capsule will get to wear as they pose for selfies while hanging out in zero gravity. The big, wide helmet brings to mind a lot of classic science fiction movies, giving the entire endeavor the feeling that it's been ripped straight from a space opera.

Now, Musk revealed a full body photo of the suit, and unsurprisingly, the sci-fi inspired design continues all the way down to the wearer's toes. The entire ensemble does look a little like The Stig from Top Gear, but it also give of definite classical romantic space adventure vibes.

Astronaut spacesuit next to Crew Dragon

A post shared by Elon Musk (@elonmusk) on




This is to be expected - after all, Musk's team have worked closely with renowned sci-fi costume designer Jose Fernandez in order to make a suit that's both functional, and as cool as possible. Gone is the clunky, bulky look of most real-life spacesuits, in favor of something that makes the wearer look like a superhero. The suit isn't designed for spacewalks, but rather as a kitsch outfit to be worn while within the Dragon pod; the better to protect the wearer in case anything goes wrong, and, just as important, to keep any vomitous accidents contained in the event of a sudden, understandable bout of nausea.

When you glance inside the Dragon capsule itself, you can this extends to all elements of the SpaceX tourist experience. Gleaming brushed steel panels with luxury seats and plenty of breathing space help to make a ride in the capsule feel less like traditional cramped space travel, and more like an epic interstellar adventure.

If there's one downside to all of this, though, it's that the SpaceX tourist package, with its immaculate capsule and plain white spacesuit, feels a little too sterile. If this suit were in an actual sci-fi movie, Michael Bay would be yelling at his costume department. There's no flair or style - it's as inoffensive and sterile as possible, which does make it somewhat less impressive than Jose Fernandez' other creations.

Perhaps this is the point. From a storytelling perspective (and the whole purpose of the SpaceX tourist program is to provide its customers with exciting stories), a plain costume provides a blank slate for adventurers to project their own preferences upon. The suit is so nondescript that it can't be mistaken for the costume from any one movie, and that means that a fan of Alien or Firefly or 2001: A Space Odyssey can pretend that they're dressed up like their own personal sci-fi icon, whoever that might be.

An important part of the SpaceX program is letting tourists use their imaginations to live out their own personal space fantasies. The costume may be bereft of any particular icon or logo, but that's fine, because wearers will be more than happy to fill in the blanks themselves when they remember these events over the years to come. Especially if they want to be The Stig from Top Gear.
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