2020 Excellence in Visual Digital Storytelling, Large Newsroom finalist

Companies in the Cosmos: How to dress for space

About the Project

How has the space suit evolved over time? The Washington Post created a visual timeline demonstrating how the suit has changed from the iconic Mercury silver suit to the bulky moon landing gear to the orange shuttle suit of the ’90s to the futuristic Boeing and SpaceX suits soon to be worn in space. Using photogrammetry to render high-fidelity 3D models of the suits, any reader with an iOS device can bring the life-size suits into their own homes and learn about how far space suit design has come in the past half century. They can also see the details and stories behind suit features such as the Boeing suit’s Reebok boots and the SpaceX suit’s 3D-printed helmet. Lead space reporter Chris Davenport and Pulitzer Prize-winning fashion critic Robin Givhan lead the conversation on the suits’ technical details and cultural significance, and what space meant to Americans during each of the five suit eras. The evolution of the space suit mimics technological developments in rockets, and it symbolizes a new space era, where innovative companies, and not just NASA, are leading the way.