18 space suits from science fiction, from worst to best

Space suits are cool — and complicated. Earlier this week, my colleague Loren Grush launched her new series Space Craft by seeing what wearing one is like. The answer? Exhausting. Unsurprisingly, science fiction writers, movie directors, and prop-makers also love space suits — you’ll find them everywhere from Robert A. Heinlein’s novel Have Space Suit Will Travel, to the latest Alien movie. But not everybody does their homework: for every fictional space suit that’s more than just a fancy costume, there’s one that’s impractical and nonsensical even in a fictional world.

There’s no such thing as an “ideal” space suit, because you need specific features for different environments. But we can answer a few basic questions. Is a fictional…

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