If the suit makes the man, then the spacesuit most certainly makes the astronaut! NASA Astronauts Douglas Hurley and Robert Behnken made history on May 31, 2020 by becoming the first NASA crew to launch from U.S. soil in almost a decade. And they did it in style, wearing next-generation spacesuits designed by a billionaire and a Hollywood designer. Beginning July 1, 2021, guests of Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex will get a first look at the hi-tech launch and re-entry spacesuits in a special, limited-time exhibit.
The suits were the collaboration of Elon Musk’s team at SpaceX and Hollywood designer Jose Fernandez, whose studio is known for such high-profile movie costumes as The Avengers, X-Men, Batman v Superman and many others.
Referred to as the “Starman suits,” and described as resembling a tuxedo, the suits feature a sleek design and were worked on by NASA engineers to make them functional for flight. Among the distinguishing features: the helmets are 3D printed, the gloves are touch-screen sensitive, and the custom suits are all one piece.
The suits will be on display in the Space Shuttle Atlantis building at the main campus of Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex, and will be enclosed in transparent acrylic, enabling a 360-degree view.
Guests interested in learning more about the evolution of spacesuits can find many representing different space programs on display throughout the visitor complex. Examples include Alan Shepard’s space suit, which is still covered in Moon dust, in the Treasures Gallery at the Apollo/Saturn V Center. Near the Hubble Space Telescope in Space Shuttle Atlantis is a dramatic replica of the McCandless spacesuit and MMU in which astronaut Bruce McCandless made history performing a spacewalk during STS-41B with no lifelines tethering him to space shuttle Challenger. And guests will be in awe of Mercury 7 Astronaut Gus Grissom’s spacesuit on display at Heroes and Legends, featuring the U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame® presented by Boeing.
For more information and to make a reservation, visit www.kennedyspacecenter.com.