Tech

SpaceX hired the man that designed the ‘Iron Man’ costume to make its spacesuits

Back in 2012 when Marvel movies were still something of a novelty, Jon Favreau was attempting to find a real-world figure to lend some 'realism' to his new project, Iron Man.

When developing the character with Robert Downey Jr, the actor suggested they sit down with Elon Musk - creator PayPal and CEO of Tesla (the electric car company changing the world) and SpaceX (the rocket company changing space). The real-life billionaire genius would act as the template for Marvel's fictional billionaire genius.

Now, some four years later, Musk is guiding this Marvel link full circle: SpaceX has just employed Jose Fernandez - the Iron Man costume designer - to look after the creation of the company's latest space suits.

"I didn’t know what SpaceX was and I thought it was a film," Fernandez told Bleep Mag. "Then I realized it’s an actual space program. They were looking to get a suit built for Elon to look at for the program."

Fernandez has had a hand in some of the most iconic super-suits of cinema, with his most recent works including Batman and Wonder Woman from this year's Batman v Superman and Black Panther from Captain America.

"They had two weeks to present the suit to him and I told them I couldn’t do a full suit in two weeks but that I may be able to do a helmet," said Fernandez. "There were four other companies working on bids as well and at the end of the process, he hated everything except the helmet. I worked with him for six months and at the end of that, we created a suit that they are now reverse-engineering to make functional for flight."

Fernandez's suit won't be unveiled for another few months, but it's set to fulfil a pretty awesome brief: "He wanted it to look stylish. It had to be practical but also needed to look great. It’s pretty bad ass. He kept saying, 'Anyone looks better in a tux, no matter what size or shape they are,' and when people put this space suit on, he wants them to look better than they did without it, like a tux. You look heroic in it. It’s an iconic thing be a part of."

For an idea of just how heroically badass SpaceX's suit could look, here's a roundup of some of Fernandez's best work.