Elon Musk doesn’t just want to take you to space — he wants to do so in style.
Musk has just revealed what SpaceX’s astronauts will wear as they attempt to turn humanity into a multi-planetary species. SpaceX’s spacesuit design is a minimalist white with dashes of black thrown in — there’s an angular black lining near the collar, as well as prominent black shoulder pads. Keeping with space’s sartorial traditions, the American flag is also prominently displayed.
Musk is quick to remind us that this isn’t some artist’s rendition. “Worth noting that this actually works,” he wrote. “Already tested to double vacuum pressure.”
SpaceX also appears to have grappled with a problem that confronts designers the world over — balancing form and function. “Was incredibly hard to balance aesthetics and function. Easy to do either separately,” he said.
Making astronauts’s spacesuits look aesthetically pleasing might seem trivial, especially when compared to the task of actually sending them to space, but it’s more crucial for SpaceX than one would imagine. Musk imagines a world when thousands of human beings will take the seven month long flight to set up a colony on Mars. And while SpaceX will presumably do all it can to assure Mars’ would-be conquerors of their safety, it will also help if they perceive the mission to be pleasant. Spending seven months in a sealed tube that’s hurtling through space can’t be too much fun, but having well-dressed co-passengers would help. Given how SpaceX’s success depends on finding people willing to to risk their lives in attempting to get to Mars, the company is as much of a PR concern as it is a technical one.
And creating pretty spacesuits is a good start.