SpaceX’s first astronaut launches new style

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Astronauts Doug Hurley, left, and Robert Behnken pose for a Tesla Model X car during a dress rehearsal for the SpaceX launch at the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida on January 17, 2020.

Kim Shiflett / The Associated Press

The first astronauts launched by SpaceX open up new perspectives in terms of style with space suits on the hip, Teslas with seagull wings and an elegant rocket – all white with black trim.

The color coordination is due to Elon Musk, the driving force behind SpaceX and Tesla, and a big fan of flash and science fiction.

NASA astronauts Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken love the new look. They will drive to the launch pad in a Tesla Model X electric car.

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“This is really good, and I think the biggest testament to that is my 10 year old son who tells me how cool I am,” Hurley told The Associated Press.

“SpaceX has done everything it can” on the appearance of the capsule, he said. “And they worked so hard to make the guts and the screens and everything else in the vehicle work perfectly. “

The real test comes on Wednesday when Hurley and Behnken climb aboard a SpaceX Dragon capsule atop a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket and, if the equipment and the weather allow it, shoot into space. It will be the first astronaut launch from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center since the last shuttle flight in 2011.

It will also mark the first attempt by a private company to send astronauts into orbit. Only governments – Russia, the United States and China – have done so.

The historic shipment deserves to look good, according to SpaceX. He already has a beautiful ring. Musk named his rocket in honor of the Millennium Falcon “Star Wars”. The name of the capsule comes from “Puff the Magic Dragon”, the musk blow to all skeptics when he started SpaceX in 2002.

SpaceX has designed and built its own combinations, which are customized. Security came first. The cool factor – or wow – was up close.

“It’s important that the suits are comfortable and inspiring,” said SpaceX’s Benji Reed. a mission director. “Most importantly, it is designed to ensure the safety of the crew. “

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The voluminous and orange jumpsuits of climb and entry worn by the shuttle astronauts had their own attraction, according to Behnken, who like Hurley wore them for his two previous missions. Films like “Armageddon” and “Space Cowboys” stole the orange look every time the actors “tried to pretend to be astronauts”.

On launch day, Hurley and Behnken will prepare inside Kennedy’s refurbished crew quarters, which date back to the mid-1960s two-man Gemini missions. SpaceX technicians will help astronauts in their one-piece pressure suits two layers.

Hurley and Behnken will exit through the same double doors used on July 16, 1969 by Neil Armstrong of Apollo 11, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins – the operations and control building is now named Armstrong.

But instead of the traditional Astrovan, the two will ride in the back seat of a Tesla Model X for the nine-mile ride to Launch Complex 39A, the same pad used by moon men and most crews. Shuttle Buses. It is while boarding the Tesla that they will see their wives and young sons for the last time before the flight.

NASA’s worm logo returns after three decades – wavy, futuristic red letters spelling NASA, the “A” resembling rocket nose cones. The worm adorns the Astro-Tesla, Falcon and even astronauts suits, as well as the original NASA blue meatball logo.

The Hurleys and Behnken in white suits will go from the white Tesla to the white Dragon at the top of the Falcon 9, which is also white.

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“It’s going to be quite a show,” Reed promised.

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