Tuesday, April 23, 2024

So Did Stanley Kubrick Design Boeing’s New NASA Space Suits?

When Stanley Kubrick created 2001: A Space Odyssey, he did so with an eye firmly to the future. Kubrick consulted more than 50 technology companies during his research, who shared with Kubrick their plans and ideas for what would be possible in the year 2001. This also explains why the film is littered with logos and brand names.

2001 is often praised as one of the most accurate and realistic portrayals of aeronautical engineering and technologies—so much so it led others to believe Kubrick helped fake the moon landing. But who knew all these years later one of Kubrick’s biggest impact on space flight would be…fashion?

Boeing has designed a spacecraft called Starliner, which will primarily serve as an aeronautical taxi between Earth and the International Space Station. To match function with form, Boeing has also rebooted the space suit, crafting a significantly lighter and more technological advanced suit. It also happens to look eerily similar to the space suits worn in 2001.

“The most important part is that the suit will keep you alive,” astronaut Eric Boe said in a press release. “It is a lot lighter, more form-fitting and it’s simpler, which is always a good thing. Complicated systems have more ways they can break, so simple is better on something like this.”

Though 2001’s Discovery 1 spacecraft featured four colors of the suit—red, yellow, green, and blue—the only suits never seen worn were the green and blue pairs. Could this be the lost suit sent back through the Monolith?

Of course not. That would be ridiculous.


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