CAPE CANAVERAL, Florida, USA
The first astronauts to travel into space sent by the SpaceX company are breaking new ground for style with modern space suits, Tesla cars with seagull-wing doors, and a sleek spaceship, all white with black trim.
Color coordination is thanks to Elon Musk, the driving force behind SpaceX and Tesla, and who is a huge fan of glitz and science fiction.
NASA astronauts Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken like the new look. They will travel to launch capsule in Tesla’s Model X electric car.
“He is really cool and I think the biggest testimony to that is my 10-year-old son telling me how cool I am now,” Hurley told The Associated Press.
“SpaceX has stood out” with the appearance of the capsule, he said. “And they have worked just as hard to make the interior, displays, and everything else in the vehicle work seamlessly.”
The real test will be on Wednesday, when Hurley and Behnken climb onto a SpaceX Dragon pod on a company Falcon 9 rocket and, if equipment and weather permit, will be launched into space. It will be the first astronaut launch at NASA’s John F. Kennedy Space Center since the last shuttle flight in 2011.
It will also be the first attempt by a private company to send astronauts into orbit. Only governments, from Russia, the United States and China, have done so.
The historic launch deserves to look good, according to SpaceX. You already have a nice ring. Musk named his rocket the “Millennium Falcon” from the “Star Wars” saga. The capsule’s name comes from “Puff the Magic Dragon,” Musk’s hit to all who doubted when SpaceX started in 2002.
SpaceX designed and manufactured its own suits, which are custom made. Safety comes first. But the wow factor came in second.