NASA & David Byrne; All Suited Up

Suits, though not latex, make the news this week; one interstellar, the other from back in our rock and roll past.

NASA revealed a new spacesuit this week that astronauts will hopefully be wearing on a mission to the moon that might be happening quite soon (by space exploration counting). Created by Axiom Space, the new suit is designed for improved “mobility” for explores set to work on the lunar surface on the Artemis 111 mission. This endeavor will see the first woman and first person of color setting down on the moon’s surface. 

The prototype for the new suit includes a dark gray cover designed by Esther Marquis, a costume designer who worked on the TV series, For All Mankind. The actual suit will be white, though, for thermal considerations.  

NASA astronauts have used basically the same space suit design for the past 40 years, and while it has proven its effectiveness, it was always particularly limiting for movement. The new suit named the Axiom Extravehicular Mobility Unit, or AxEMU (based on NASA’s Exploration Extravehicular Mobility Unit (“xEMU” for short) has been as much rendered with those thermal considerations in mind as well as the fact that the men and women working in the moon’s microgravity will need to be able to walk, bend or crouch as much as possible.

A little more Earth-based but surely iconic, David Byrne picked up his infamous and oversized Stop Making Sense suit from the dry cleaners in this trailer released this week. The advertisement is for the 2023 rerelease of the epic Talking Heads concert film coming from studio A24. A24 was a huge winner at this year’s Oscars, where Byrne appeared to perform his nominated song with Son Lux and Mitski for A24’s big night winner Everything Everywhere All at Once.

1984’s Stop Making Sense is considered by many to be one of the very best concert films ever. The newly re-mastered version will be presented in 4K and will be released sometime in 2023.

And the suits press ever onward.

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