The man who helped create a real-life adaption of superhero costumes, ranging from DC’s Batman to Marvel’s Wolverine, etc., also played an integral role in SpaceX astronaut suits, essentially giving the Crew Dragon aboard the spaceship an almost unnoticed Hollywood-level aesthetics.
Jose Fernandez, the man responsible for the suits’ design, has been in the film business as a sculptor since 1989. Kickstarting an artistic career with the Rick Baker film, Gremlins, until subsequently doing similar projects for other hit movies, like Men in Black.
Now Taking Credit
One of his biggest projects, Batman V Superman, has been pivotal in Fernandez’s creation of his company, Ironhead Studios. The company was founded out of the said project’s failure to render him screen credit the work that is well-received among audiences.
With several years of experience under his portfolio, it only fits for Fernandez to take on the task of doing the astronaut suits.
While born with his creative flair, the creation of the suits is an amalgamation of an idea and inspiration from sources.
The idea, coming from SpaceX founder Elon Musk himself, that the suit must give the astronaut a ‘tuxedo-level’ of appeal. One which, according to Musk, makes anyone who wears them significantly looking better than not if not wearing them. Essentially, giving them a formal appearance and, more importantly, a ‘heroic’ look.
As for inspiration, the major influence draws from duo musician and Fernandez’s former client, Daft Punk. Thereby giving the suits themselves a Daft Punk-ish aesthetic, mostly reflective on the helmet.
Design Meets Practicality and Safety
Building the suit, however, is more than just about looks. Other major aspects of the outfit’s creation are functionality and safety as well. Despite his repertoire, part of the project’s challenge also boils down in meeting both comforts and safeguard in each suit.
That entails more than just coming up with an efficient blueprint but also finding the right materials to tie everything together. Not only did Fernandez managed to figure out how to do just that, but he also attained a feat not done in spacesuit-making before.
— NASA Commercial Crew (@Commercial_Crew) May 19, 2020
That is, to give the space costume a moving helmet that renders the wearer able to make an angle view of surroundings. Something that has otherwise plagued astronauts from the past due to their suit’s rigidly stiff and bolted design.
Overall, the SpaceX suits are significantly lighter and more flexible than any other suit worn by a group of men launched into space.
Image used courtesy of Adam Savage’s Tested/YouTube Screenshot