The Mars Generation Suits Up

Testing Final Frontier Design’s 3G Mark III space suit.
Photo: Final Fontier Design

Whenever Hollywood stars venture out into infinity and beyond, they get a slick new wardrobe upgrade. Gravity’s Sandra Bullock has her hip-hugging Sokol suit. The Martian’s Matt Damon sports color-coordinated Red Planet gear.

ut real astronauts aren’t as lucky. They get stuck wearing the same old space duds, sometimes for decades. Space travel is expensive, and space attire itself is costly and difficult to make. So even if some of our current space suits are based on patents from the 1950s, why not keep using those same designs if they’ve already been tested and still work?

Nonetheless, because of the burgeoning human-travel commercial space industry, and renewed interest in going to Mars spurred on by the spectacular Curiosity rover mission and the Mars One space settler effort, space suits are getting another look.