The Sci-fi Spacesuit Discussion Thread


Sr Member
Armageddon helmet / suit concepts from the making-of featurette, by illustrator James Carson:

Armageddon designs in featurette.jpg

Looks as though the original idea might have been a two-part visor, requiring that seam piece running from the ears to the chin?

Also came across a relevant portion of the director's commentary; perhaps explains how Global came to make the gloves.


Sr Member
#4 Robinson Crusoe on Mars (1964)

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I had a different suit planned for tonight, but was having problems getting screenshots, so I turned to one a BluRay that features a suit I love from my childhood.

I’m a little biased, because I remember watching this movie on tv when I was a kid at my grandmother’s house while waiting for all of the family to arrive for Thanksgiving dinner. Ignoring all of that, I really like this suit. I think it’s the black and silver highlights that do it for me, along with an awesome backpack. I think it’s cool that the hero is wearing black and that the suit isn’t white, yellow, blue, or some other bright color.

Is the suit (and the movie) realistic? Nope. Is the suit (and the movie) awesome? I think so.

I like that the helmet feels like something real (I’m pretty sure that it is a real pilot’s helmet).

The suit has some interesting zippers (I like how the teeth are exposed to give some silver highlights. The material of the suit look more like wind suit material (I’m sure that it isn’t) and is tailored more like a flightsuit.

The gloves don’t sell at all to me. I like in this movie how they explain some of this away with saying there is limited atmosphere. Explains how he can take the gloves off, I guess. The watch is a different choice. I don’t remember seeing too many spacesuits with watches.

The backpack is great and really looks like something someone would carry around to provide oxygen from a tank. I would love to make a replica of this backpack sometime, as it has a functional look to it. It also has a feeling of a pack that a comic artist might draw for a spaceman.

Speaking of tech, the video/audio recorder he has in this movie is pretty retro-cool.

Anyone remember this movie or have any thoughts?


Sr Member
The helmet is either as real Mercury helmet or a good replica. The liner is different, but that could be a hood he is wearing. The mics look like real ones, but not the same as the Mercury or Mark IV helmet mics I remember. The helmet disconnect is not a real design.

The suit body looks like a high altitude cover layer. In order to get into a suit, the zippers or openings need to allow for the wearer to bend forward, and get the helmet disconnect over the head. This is made difficult because the helmet to crotch cannot be oversized, or when pressurized, the helmet would be pushed up over the head. Mercury and High altitude suits of the time had a series of zippers that allowed you to "un peel" the suit in order to get it on. Apollo and ACES are rear entry, as this makes donning the suit very easy.


Sr Member
Adam @ Propstore Part 2 – Event Horizon

I'm a little ambivalent towards this suit; I don't hate it (apart from the generic leather belt), but it doesn't particularly stand out for me. In fact, for years I thought the suits from Event Horizon were among my favorites, only to discover that I'd gotten the Armageddon suits confused!


Sr Member
Adam @ Propstore Part 2 – Event Horizon
I just watched the video and came over here to post about it.

It’s funny, I had this movie’s suits on my list to post (much like the Armageddon suit). Tested is helping me move on to other suits lol

So the most interesting thing about this suit to me is the helmet. It looks like an 80’s GI Joe figure design (similar to a Lamprey or an Annihilator). I really dig the look and the shape, although the moving lights at the chin do draw your attention. I like the moving bar graph lights and would have loved to have seen something like that on the backpack.

Amazing that the helmet lighting still does its thing. That’s cool.


Sr Member
It looks like an 80’s GI Joe figure design (similar to a Lamprey or an Annihilator).
I could totally see this as a GI Joe toy! And the lights are definitely impressive. Always surprised by functioning 20+ yr-old prop electronics.

The one thing I wonder about the helmet shape is ground visibility; it seems well-suited to looking straight forward, up, or to the sides, but between the backward slant of the visor and the large non-transparent chin, I'd picture the wearer tripping over things at their feet.

Carolus Magnus

New Member
The Martian - Looks nice, overall look is not distracting, worked for the film.
But, mechanical counter pressure suits (MCP) or "Squeeze suits" have been a dream concept for years. (See Webb Space Activity suit) This idea has been given new inspiration by Dava Newman's Biosuit project. Which by the way, was never a real suit. They never had a working prototype.
The issue with these suits is there are too many physiological side effects / issues to make them a practical idea.
First, fit. They have to be custom made for each wearer, and they do not allow the skin to breath. You also need to apply sufficient pressure to the whole body, or blood will pool in any area not under sufficient pressure. Air pressure suits, apply pressure evenly because air is a fluid, and therefore flows everywhere evenly. An MPC suit needs to apply pressure to "hollow" areas like armpits and palms of the hand. Also, hair follicles originate from a tiny pit in the skin, and these areas cannot be "squeezed" so as a result blood pools in these tiny depressions and get what look like pox. Also, I don't know if any testing has been done for the long term effects of this or tight physical contact with the skin over long periods.
Side note on this film, when the hab blows up, and he patches it with Visqueen and duct tape, I could almost buy it, because of the way he fabricated it. BUT, when the hab gets repressurized, this would be as taunt as a drum head, and would not flap in the Martian wind. Which is another huge issue, the Martian atmosphere is so thin, a hurricane level even, would feel like a strong breeze on earth. So the whole premise of how he gets stranded is bogus. Even the author of the book admitted he really cheated that.
Again, Huge helmet, not very practical. I was in Budapest for some filming, as we supplied the ACES suits, for the return to Mars scene, and I talked with the costume designer. She told me Ridley loves big helmets. (just look at any of his space films) I have no clue why a helmet would need to extend so far above the wearers head. Also, of it's a MPC suit, why would you need a rigid torso? Takes up way too much volume when stored and has little function.

2001 - Love these suits as well . We have built a couple of replicas of these for various projects. (Most recently Gucci's Kubrick project) I had considered building a functional version of the suit. As in fully pressurizable.

Prometheus - Huge goofy helmets and MPC suits. Stupid film.

Moon - Ok design. Nothing special, but looks practical. Helmet needed a sun visor though. You would get a serious sun burn in only a few minutes if exposed to the direct sunlight.

Mission to Mars - Dumb film. Bad physics. Dumb suit design. Hoses going to back of helmet, suit details for the sake of adding detail. Nothing looks functional on these suits, They look to me like costumes. Controls on the suits too small to be used and not in line of sight. (Like tiny switches and indicator lights on the lower back of the PLSS (back pack) Zippers exposed and on the chest like that makes it very difficult to get into the suit, unless the helmet disconnect can be unhooked from the suit.

Tin Tin - Strata suit influence again.

Interstellar - Ok suits. Hoses to back of the helmet impractical. Nice helmet design though. We thought we would be building these suits, but it was decided they would build them in-house with their costume department. They had a number of problems with these suits on set. Spacesuits are not simple to make, even movie ones.

Alien - ehh. They seem more like attack dog training suits to me.

Star Trek - Interesting design. Given the era, and the need to make them seem very futuristic, I like that they don't look like any other spacesuit concept.

Battlestar - Terrible design. Again, details for the sake of details. Helmet looks like it weighs 50 pounds.

Outland - already discussed.

Firefly / Serenity - This is the only one in this group we made. These armoured spacesuits were originally made for the Kurt Russell film, "Soldier". For a quick flashback scene. Built quickly and pretty cheaply.
They were then rented to the TV series with the original helmet, and on a later episode, they wanted a different helmet design. (pictured) The idea of the helmet was the fabric in the back was so the whole front of the helmet could be opened and pivoted back, and the fabric section would collapse. As an example, the Russian Sokol suit uses an all fabric helmet, other than the faceplate. The helmet lights were designed to look "added on" in the style of many of the shows equipment. The chest box is an upside-down Apollo RCU.

Sunshine - Like the design, but I cant say it's all that realistic. There would be better ways to protect an astronaut in this scenario, but the design does a good job for the film.
The thing that has always bugged me about the Star Trek suits is....they are suits. This is a civilization that has learned to manipulate gravity and can generate force fields reliably. Why do they need material helmets at all? Why not a force field? (Ditto, by the way, most of the instrumentation visible throughout the ship. An iPhone has a touch screen and it's only 2023.


Sr Member

Tested Spacesuit Thursday is up! I’ve not had a chance to watch yet. Hope to get a lunch break to check it out.
The fabric is a problem. For the HBO series, "From the Earth to the Moon" we made a Mercury suit from this type of material and it lasted a very long time, with no issues. We rented it to many different projects. Then on "Astronaut Farmer" they wore it in a pool, and after it's return to us, it started to delaminate. We had 2 other mercury suits, made much later that were hanging in our costume shop, waiting for hardware, when the project got canceled, they sat on a rack for a year or so. When we went to use them, even though they had never been used, and were not in sunlight, they were delaminating.
They mention the similarity to the 2001 suit, and that of course was deliberate, and we used the patterns we made from the real 2001 suit. They point out the comedy element of the boots, but the real 2001 suit used blue/gray suede RAF boots.
The visors were blown. Not too tough. The reference Stephen was looking for in the helmet shape, was not Russian, but the United States' XH-5 Strata suit (on the first page of this thread)
The other fun thing we did for this film, was make an Apollo suit out of Spandex. This was for the scene where Mini Me climbs inside Austin's suit and can be "seen" crawling around.
How our imagination evolved.

Disneyland 1960.
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Mid 1960's? You can't be serious.
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Child's costume. Kind of cool, but poorly thought out. Is that a jet pack or did this little astronaut have a little too much hot sauce at Taco Bell?
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I build rediculous atom punk suits with way too many hoses and blinky lights and things . It's all in fun , of course no real suit would be built anything like it. It's just an homage to all of the crazy early sci-fi stuff .


Sr Member
I wonder where you can get a neck gaiter like that ? I've been looking , I'm sure it was something common .
My fiirst thought is it could be a piece used in a different show but I think it is far more likely that the entire suit was built for the show. I have seen comments from some of the shows prop people having built parts of the costumes but I don't have any links to share. You could try doing a search for 'Space:1999 costumes' here on this site.
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