One of the most important pieces of space travel equipment is a good suit. It protects astronauts from a hostile environment and helps them navigate in microgravity.
The suits used in Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey look pretty cool, but they wouldn’t fly in space. Fortunately, researchers at Mines are working on some more plausible designs for future space suits.
2001: A Space Odyssey
Since its release in 1968, Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey has been lauded as one of the most influential movies ever made. Its special effects, depiction of space travel, and manner of storytelling are considered ahead of their time. Its themes of dichotomies, including those between man and machine, human and alien, and the self and the world around us, are still debated today. Moreover, the film’s ambiguous ending has inspired thousands of YouTube analyses and articles to explain its meaning.
It was a brave move by Kubrick to use such an open-ended ending, but the effect is still breathtaking, even after nearly fifty years of cinematic advances. One of the film’s most iconic scenes is when astronaut Dave Bowman enters Explorer One’s antechamber to deactivate HAL, the all-knowing computer. A close-up of his helmet shows it is adorned with a coat of green paint. Julien’s Auctions recently offered the suit worn by actor Keir Dullea for this scene.
The spacesuit consists of a body, a helmet with visor, and a life-support backpack. The jacket’s Velcroed back flap is marked “2001 A Space Odyssey, R. Beatty,” referring to actor Robert Beatty who played Dr. Heywood Floyd in the movie. Its internal label reads “T&H, Size 9, W. Sylvester.” Several of its controls have come loose, but they are present.
This suit has been repainted multiple times during production, and there are four discernible layers to its coloration. Its material also mirrored the lighting on set, which is why it sometimes appeared red or gold in certain film stills. Finding major props from important films is difficult, and this one is particularly rare. Almost all of the film’s costumes and other equipment were destroyed after production, so it’s a testament to the quality of this piece that it survived.
After 400 years of peace, the world was plunged into war after a dimensional invasion by aliens called Daedra. The invasion wiped out most of humanity and left the 400-year-old empire without an emperor. When the invaders disappeared through the Oblivion gates, a group of elven supremacists called the Thalmor claimed they closed the portals with subtle magics.
In this post-apocalyptic sci-fi film, Tom Cruise stars as a drone technician named Jack Harper who is sent to Earth after the Daedra attack. He is tasked with overseeing what is left of the planet. The film’s director, Joseph Kosinski, has a long history with the future-setting genre. He has also directed Tron: Legacy and Blade Runner 2049.
For his role, Cruise needed a futuristic space suit that could keep up with his fast-paced and highly active scenes. The costume was designed by Marlene Stewart, who worked on movies like Ali and Terminator 2: Judgment Day. She drew inspiration from medieval armor, diving helmets and South Park’s Kenny to create his character’s look.
Cruise’s co-star is Julia, a female drone played by Olga Kurylenko. Her design was also inspired by medieval armor, with some nods to Star Trek and the classic movie Barbarella. She was outfitted in a golden, metallic-looking suit.
The Ribbon Chair is a piece of furniture that has become synonymous with futuristic style. It is often used in science fiction and fantasy films to represent the future, especially when the characters are sitting down or talking. It was first used in Stanley Kubrick’s 1968 film The Clockwork Orange, and it appeared again in the 2017 reboot of the franchise. In this sequel, the Ribbon Chair was used by Sylvia Hoeks’ character Luv to order an attack on Wallace Corporation headquarters.
A space suit needs to be comfortable and functional, but it also has to look good. This is important for public perception of space travel, so a lot of thought went into the suits in Moon. The result is a design that looks more like the real thing than most depictions in movies or TV, especially those in Star Trek.
The visor extends over the wearer’s head and offers plenty of visibility. The suits are individually tailored, so astronauts can bend, move their arms, and navigate space in the same way that they do on Earth. They even get color-coded stripes so that viewers can tell them apart on television broadcasts. These are all nice touches that show a bit of thought.
Although the film doesn’t feature any actual astronauts, it does accurately portray what it would be like to travel on a spacecraft, the launch process, and a journey to the moon. It also shows how important it is to have good communication with ground control to avoid problems during the mission.
In addition to comfort, a futuristic space suit must be able to meet the challenges of deep space missions. One major challenge is the cost of a spacecraft and its crew. The current costs for launching just a kilogram into orbit are tens of thousands of dollars and crew time is on the order of thousands of dollars per minute.
Fitted spacesuits that are custom-made to the individual astronaut can cut those costs significantly by requiring fewer and longer-lived components. In addition, smart structures and wearable electronics technologies are advancing rapidly, making it possible to create spacesuits with distributed wireless sensors that monitor the environment and the suit itself, process data with distributed on-suit computation, and adapt to the environment or alert the astronauts through voice or visual displays. It may even be possible to incorporate powered exoskeletons that add strength for construction or planetary exploration work and reduce fatigue.
Space suits have played a critical role in many defining historical moments. From the Moon landings to the development of single-occupant spacecraft, these garments have enabled humanity to explore our solar system and beyond. Space suits are also often seen as emblems of the era in which they were created. Their simple appearance belies the complexity of their design, which follows the principle that form follows function. A space suit is designed to provide comfort, safety, and a high degree of functionality.
ASU’s Center for Science and the Imagination is teaming up with Majestic Neighborhood Cinema to screen Outland on Feb. 15. The film is an off-world crime thriller set in a mining colony on Jupiter’s moon, Io. It stars Sean Connery as a lawman who arrives to find drug trafficking gripping the workforce.
Despite some issues with originality, Outland is still a great movie. It has an excellent cast and story and the special effects are fantastic. The mining colony on Io is especially well-realized. It is a great example of how futuristic science fiction can look.
The movie also features some great acting, particularly by Frances Sternhagen as the tough-ass station doctor. It is definitely a must-see for fans of science fiction and fans of Sean Connery. The film may not be as good as High Noon, but it is a solid film that should not be missed. Moreover, it has helped cement the careers of both Connery and director Peter Hyams. Both went on to make other classic movies. The tense, dark and steamy atmosphere of the movie makes it a must-see for fans of claustrophobic space thrillers. Its a great film to see if you like movies with exploding people.
As science-fiction franchises go, Stargate might be among the most expansive and mind-bending. The 1994 Roland Emmerich movie that started it all paved the way for a sprawling TV saga, with two 10-season runs for SG-1 and Atlantis before its first spinoff — the short-lived SGU — ended its run in 2009. The series follows the story of a group of refugees trapped on Destiny, an Ancient ship traveling in unknown space. It introduced new lore and took the series farther from its military sci-fi roots than its predecessors, while still maintaining a strong serialized character-driven narrative.
The series starred a diverse ensemble of characters, including the ever-compelling Robert Carlyle as Colonel Jack O’Neill and Ming-Na Wen as Camile Wray, a member of the International Operations Alliance who supports civilian leadership on the ship. Her presence was notable, since the show featured the first openly lesbian main character on an American television series. In addition, the crew of the Destiny used communication stones, a technology descended from the Ancients, to swap consciousness with their alien colleagues aboard the ship.
Stargate Universe also used the unused ninth chevron of the Stargate to create wormholes into other parts of the galaxy, which gave the team plenty of opportunities for adventure. But the series also had its fair share of conflict. The cast was divided over how to approach the series, with some of the actors deciding to leave at the end of its two-season run.
In the final episode of SGU, a team led by Jack O’Neill uses a communication stone to send a message to Earth asking for help against the Ori. Ultimately, the mission fails, but a documentary team later discovers that a small group of survivors survived the Ori attack and escaped to Earth.