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SpaceX Gives Mission a New Look

Color-coordinated launch will include a trip in a white Tesla
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted May 24, 2020 9:42 AM CDT
SpaceX Gives Mission a New Look
NASA astronaut Doug Hurley in his spacesuit at SpaceX headquarters in California.   (Ashish Sharma/SpaceX via AP)

The first astronauts launched by SpaceX are breaking new ground for style with hip spacesuits, gull-wing Teslas and a sleek rocket ship—all of it white with black trim. The color coordinating is thanks to Elon Musk, the driving force behind both SpaceX and Tesla, and a big fan of flash and science fiction. NASA astronauts Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken like the fresh new look. They'll catch a ride to the launch pad in a Tesla Model X electric car, the AP reports. "It is really neat, and I think the biggest testament to that is my 10-year-old son telling me how cool I am now," Hurley said. "SpaceX has gone all out" on the capsule's appearance, he said. "And they’ve worked equally as hard to make the innards and the displays and everything else in the vehicle work to perfection." Hurley and Behnken are scheduled to launch Wednesday at NASA's Kennedy Space Center, the first time a private company is sending astronauts into orbit.

The historic send-off deserves to look good, according to SpaceX, which designed and built its own custom-fit suits. "It's important that the suits are comfortable and also are inspiring,” explained SpaceX’s Benji Reed. "But above all, it’s designed to keep the crew safe." On launch day, Hurley and Behnken will get ready inside Kennedy's remodeled crew quarters, which dates to the two-man Gemini missions of the mid-1960s. SpaceX techs will help the astronauts into their one-piece, two-layer pressure suits. Hurley and Behnken will emerge through the same double doors used on July 16, 1969, by the Apollo 11 crew. But instead of the traditional Astrovan, the two will climb into the back seat of a Tesla Model X for the nine-mile ride to Launch Complex 39A. The white-suited Hurley and Behnken will transfer from the white Tesla to the white Dragon atop the equally white Falcon 9. "It’s going to be quite a show," Reed promised.

(Read more NASA stories.)

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