Fiction: Sleek and revealing as clingy saran wrap, topped by a bulbous fish bowl with antennae sprouting from the top, the space suit we were promised would hug the voluptuous frames of the lady cosmonauts of our far-flung future, accentuating their curves as they madly jetpacked through space, firing their ray guns at the tentacled alien hordes that threatened Earth, not to mention the no good Commies.
Fact: Surprisingly, we’re not too far off. Sure, older model spacesuits have been heavy, baggy and boxy, turning even the curviest of temptress astronauts into asexual Michelin Men, wheezing and gasping in the void. But we’re getting closer! Va-va-voom scientist Dava Newman has designed a newer, sleeker prototype space suit, which eschews the former model’s gas pressurization by relying on the mechanical counter-pressure of wrapping tight layers of material around the body. This space suit would not look out of place in any sci-fi B-film from the fifties, or on the cover of Amazing Stories in the 30’s. Good job, Dava! Now I can fantasize about spacewomen again without feeling all oogy.
Fact vs. Fiction is a weekly rubric on SciFi Scanner. Got a suggestion for a fashion or technology that sci-fi promised us, but science didn’t deliver? Let us know!Read More