SpaceX suits to be designed by superhero armor creator

If an outfit is good enough for a superhero, why not an astronaut? Elon Musk gets help from movie armor and helmet designer Jose Fernandez to make the ultimate spacesuit.

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Bonnie Burton
Journalist Bonnie Burton writes about movies, TV shows, comics, science and robots. She is the author of the books Live or Die: Survival Hacks, Wizarding World: Movie Magic Amazing Artifacts, The Star Wars Craft Book, Girls Against Girls, Draw Star Wars, Planets in Peril and more! E-mail Bonnie.
Bonnie Burton
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Here's hoping SpaceX suits resemble this prototype for Apocalypse's intimidating armor.

Video screenshot by Bonnie Burton/CNET

NASA astronauts aren't the only ones who will suit up in new gear inspired by sci-fi films.

SpaceX plans to give their astronauts spacesuits designed by Jose Fernandez, the legendary costume designer, sculptor, helmet and armor designer and the founder of Ironhead Studio.

He is best known for his helmets, armor, superhero suits and other costume elements in such films as "Oblivion," "G.I. Joe: Retaliation," "Jupiter Ascending," "Tron: Legacy," "Thor," "X-Men 2" and most recently, "Batman v Superman" and "Captain America: Civil War."

"I'm working with SpaceX to design the spacesuit, which I can't show, but they're going to reveal it in the next possible year," Fernandez said in an interview with Tested on May 2. "They're going to be wearing this to space, so that's kinda cool."

Last year during a Reddit AMA, SpaceX CEO Elon Musk revealed a hint about the new spacesuits. "We are putting a lot of effort into design esthetics, not just utility," he said. "It needs to both look like a 21st century spacesuit and work well. Really difficult to achieve both."

In order to get both the look and the functionality Musk wanted for the spacesuits, Fernandez revealed that Musk asked him to come up with a design that looked "heroic."

"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," Fernandez told Bleep magazine earlier this year. "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," Fernandez added. "He kept saying, 'Anyone looks better in a tux, no matter what size or shape they are,' and when people put this spacesuit on, he wants them to look better than they did without it, like a tux."

The spacesuit has yet to be unveiled, but it'll be interesting to see how different it will be compared to current NASA spacesuits, or even the kind of spacesuit we're used to seeing in sci-fi movies like "The Martian." Fingers crossed the new SpaceX suits will make their astronauts look more like Apocalypse than Matt Damon.