Adam Savage famously loves space suits. In March, he told The Verge that he owns a number of different types that he’s commissioned or built over the years: “They all kind of satisfy the same thing in me, and it is to create an environment around your body where you are protected. The space suit is the most amazing, because you’re bringing your own mini-Earth with you.” Recently, Savage visited the set of Ridley Scott’s new Alien series movie Alien: Covenant, and nerded out when he got to try on one of the suits used in the film.
In a video posted to Savage’s YouTube Channel, Tested, Savage donned parts of the bright yellow EVA suit, marveling at how well he could move: “When NASA does this, it costs millions of dollars.” The suit’s designer, Michael Mooney, points out that the bearings and parts of the suit were 3D printed, not only for convenience, but because Scott liked the texture.
In the video, Savage also sits down with the film’s costume designer, Janty Yates, who explains that the production didn’t want to reuse the same types of space suits used in Scott’s film Prometheus, but also didn’t want to replicate those seen in Alien. They went back to the drawing board to create two new types of suits: the IVA, used inside the film’s spacecraft, and the EVA suit worn by Danny McBride, which was inspired by underwater suits.
While the IVA suits were reasonably simple to put together. Yates says they’ve gotten extremely good at designing helmets in recent years. The EVA suit was a “technological nightmare,” though, requiring the 3D-printed bearings at every point of articulation. “It’s a thing of extraordinary genius.”
Alien: Covenant comes out on May 19th.