Elon Musk is already gearing up to reach Mars with his Dragon spacecraft program (unmanned initially, of course), and now he’s tapped a legendary sci-fi designer to develop the SpaceX suits explorers will actually be wearing on the Red Planet.
The private space firm has hired costume designer Jose Fernandez to develop a design for the company’s actual space suits. If you’re unfamiliar, Fernandez has designed costumes for Tron: Legacy, Oblivion, Iron Man, The Avengers, Jupiter Ascending and Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. Sure, some of those movies aren’t great, but they all have one thing in common — awesome design aesthetics.
Fernandez said he worked for half a year to design a suit that looks awesome, and now the company’s science team is working to turn that design into a functional space suit. It’s basically figuring out how to make the function match the form, and Musk’s goal seems to be making something that can work but also looks cool. Which, hey, if you want to get people fired up about space travel, having them look like a sci-fi flick brought to life is a good place to start.
Here’s what Fernandez told Bleep about his time working for SpaceX:
“SpaceX, the company run by Elon Musk, reached out to me to ask if I would create a space suit. I didn’t know what SpaceX was and I thought it was a film. Then I realized it’s an actual space program. They were looking to get a suit built for Elon to look at for the program. 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. The look they are going to unveil in the next few months is something we created here in the studio. He wanted it to look stylish. It had to be practical but also needed to look great. It’s pretty bad ass. He kept saying, “Anyone looks better in a tux, no matter what size or shape they are,” and when people put this space suit on, he wants them to look better than they did without it, like a tux. You look heroic in it. It’s an iconic thing be a part of.”
Sadly, there’s no word on when we might actually get a peek at SpaceX’s space suit, but it’s awesome to see the approach Musk is taking to develop it. We want to make a good impression when we meet our future alien overlords, right?