Video: NASA Testing Awesome Old Spacesuits

While we're getting all teary-eyed over the end of NASA's Space Shuttle program and the effective pause in American space capabilities it represents, we like looking back at how we got here. Colossal engineering challenges were overcome, not the least the design of the spacesuit as we currently know it.

While Nicholas de Monchaux's recent book, Spacesuit: Fashioning Apollo, is now the definitive investigation of this terrain, the short video above gets at something fundamental to the space enterprise, too. Namely, it's funny to design things for the heavens from down here on the ground. That is to say, watching a guy catch a football on a high school field wearing a spacesuit is awesome.

Our new video curator, Kasia Cieplak von-Baldegg edited this video together from a much longer film hosted in George Mason Library's Special Collections & Archives. I think it's wonderful. Thanks to Bob Vay and Leah Donnelly of GMU for letting us use this video. And a special thanks to Alan Wilkis for letting us use his music.

Via Brendan Koerner.

Presented by

Alexis Madrigal & Kasia Cieplak-Mayr von Baldegg

Alexis C. Madrigal is a contributing editor for The Atlantic. He's the author of Powering the Dream: The History and Promise of Green Technology. Kasia Cieplak-Mayr von Baldegg is the executive producer of Atlantic Video.

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