British National Space Centre Creates a Fantastical Spacesuit From an Illustration Made in 1949

While researching the National Space Centre, the ever-curious Tom Scott (previously) came across a unique display of a rather steampunk looking spacesuit next to others that have actually gone to space. As it turns out, this suit was designed in 1939 by British Interplanetary Society members Harry Ross and Ralph Smith. Smith had also drawn an illustration of the suit.

When the illustration was viewed in modern times, it was described as a “mountain climber in a suit of medieval armour”. Dan Kendall of the Space Centre recruited historical designer Stephen Wisdom to bring the collective vision of Ross and Smith to life. Kendall and Wisdom were only allowed to use materials that were available in 1949 when the suit was designed.

Decades before NASA’s Apollo program, the British Interplanetary Society wanted to go to the moon: in a spacesuit that looked like a suit of armor.

Lori Dorn
Lori Dorn

Lori is a Laughing Squid Contributing Editor based in New York City who has been writing blog posts for over a decade. She also enjoys making jewelry, playing guitar, taking photos and mixing craft cocktails.