Elon Musk’s new SpaceX spacesuit is the James Bond version of space gear

SpaceX CEO Elon Musk
Photo by Taylor Hill

Elon Musk unveiled the first picture of the SpaceX spacesuit on Wednesday on his Instagram account.

It's sexy. It's the "James Bond" version of space gear.

That's very much on purpose. But it's not easy being sexy in space.

In the post, Musk says it "was incredibly hard to balance aesthetics and function. Easy to do either separately."

Two years ago, when the design for the spacesuit was still being worked through, Musk promised it would be suave.

"Our spacesuit design is finally coming together and will also be unveiled later this year. We are putting a lot of effort into design aesthetics, not just utility," he writes in a Reddit "ask me anything" in 2015. "It needs to both look like a 21st century spacesuit and work well. Really difficult to achieve both."

For comparison, have a look at the spacesuit Boeing announced in January. Less 007.

To design the Space X spacesuit, Musk hired famed Hollywood costume designer Jose Fernandez, who has created movie costumes for the likes of Wonder Woman, Batman, Wolverine, Spiderman and X-Men, to name a few.

When SpaceX first reached out, Fernandez didn't know what SpaceX was and thought it was a film, he says, according to an interview with Bleep last year.

"I worked with [Musk] 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 says. "He wanted it to look stylish. It had to be practical but also needed to look great. It's pretty bad a--.

"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 to be a part of."


Musk also values form along with function in his other businesses.

For example, he was keen on designing attractive solar panels. "I think there is quite a radical difference between having solar panels on your roof that actually make your house look better versus ones that do not. I think it's going to be a night and day difference," says Musk in a 2016 Tesla conference call with investors.

"I think the aesthetics matter a lot. As you know, [at] Tesla we're super sensitive to aesthetics."

Musk promises more pictures of the SpaceX suit soon. Rest assured, they will be sleek.

Musk is going to look good when he gets to Mars.

See also:

Elon Musk: 'Robots will be able to do everything better than us'

There's one thing that motivates Elon Musk above all else

Elon Musk gets personal about his 'terrible lows' and 'unrelenting stress'

Wharton Professor Adam Grant: Why Elon Musk wants his employees to always speak up

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