Space Suit of the Week

Matthew Liebowitz - Astronaut

Matthew Liebowitz - Astronaut

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It is hard to have a conversation about early space suits without talking about the defense industry. Not only did space suits evolve from pressure suits worn by Air Force pilots but their development was accelerated during the Space Race thanks to the Cold War. We’ve looked at suit prototypes developed by defense contractors, but today, we’re looking at graphic design commissioned by one of these contractors.  General Dynamics is a “defense industry contractor for shipbuilding and marine systems, defense systems , land and amphibious combat systems and munitions.” The company hired Matthew Leibowitz in 1965 to make a recruitment video as a way to lure talent to the company.

I’m not sure if their strategy worked at the time, but the stills from that video are certainly alluring my eyeballs in the present. These images are nearly fifty years old and they’re clever and compelling, not just because of their subject but because Leibowitz was insanely talented. He was working for a company of military and technical experts- a company that relied on his skill to bring in new experts. Going to space presented two challenges: ability and motivation. It was the technical experts who provided the means for arriving in space, but it was the expertise of folks like Leibowitz that compelled the drive to go there.

How appropriate that the King of Hearts would be an astronaut.

Found through Aqua Velvet


March 25, 2011