NASA Is Getting Into The Fashion Industry

With a medieval-inspired fabric

Image via NASA JPL.

When you think of astronauts heading into the great unknown, you probably picture them in puffy white suits and form-fitting Lycra in primary colors. According to sci-fi movies, that is the fashion of space travel. But if NASA’s latest project comes to fruition, astronauts could be clad in modern chain mail.

Thanks to the wonders of 3D-printing technology, designers at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab have created a protective fabric that can deflect light while both absorbing and reflecting heat. Those properties alone aren’t new; NASA already uses a variety of materials to protect both spacecrafts and human travelers from inhospitable atmospheres. However, this material can do it all while shape-shifting to meet the unique demands of different bodies. It’s also lightweight, which is crucial when it costs $10,000 to send a single pound to space, Wired reports.

Image via NASA JPL.

Over the past two years, NASA has been refining the fabric, ultimately creating a flexible material that has a reflective geometric pattern on one side and interconnected loops on the other. Despite it looking like chain mail, the fabric is light and easy to manipulate while being just as strong as metal. Its adaptable properties mark the beginning of a 4D-printing era in which materials have multiple uses and reactive abilities (like the ability to adjust to temperature differences). Additionally, astronauts might be able to print more of the material while in space, making it the ultimate galactic fabric. Though, as one of the engineers who worked on the design told Wired, fashion designers could certainly use the material for their art, as well.

Personally, I’d love to see Sen. Kamala Harris don a chain mail power suit, but that’s just my futuristic fashion fantasy.


When former Pittsburgh Steelers' center Mike Webster committed suicide in 2002, his death began to raise awareness of the brain damage experienced by NFL football players. A 2017 study found that 99% of deceased NFL players had a degenerative brain disease known as CTE (chronic traumatic encephalopathy). Only one out of 111 former football players had no sign of CTE. It turns out, some of the risks of traumatic brain injury experienced by heavily padded adults playing at a professional level also exist for kids with developing brains playing at a recreational level. The dangers might not be as intense as what the adults go through, but it can have some major life-long consequences.

A new PSA put out by the Concussion Legacy Foundation raises awareness of the dangers of tackle football on developing brains, comparing it to smoking. "Tackle football is like smoking. The younger I start, the longer I am exposed to danger. You wouldn't let me smoke. When should I start tackling?" a child's voice can be heard saying in the PSA as a mother lights up a cigarette for her young son.

Keep Reading Show less
via Gage Skidmore / Flickr

On Tuesday morning, President Trump tweeted about some favorable economic numbers, claiming that annual household income is up, unemployment is low, and housing prices are high.

Now, just imagine how much better those numbers would be if the country wasn't mired in an economy-killing trade war with China, bleeding out trillion-dollar-a-year debts, and didn't suffer from chaotic leadership in the Oval Office?

At the end of tweet, came an odd sentence, "Impeach the Pres."

Keep Reading Show less

October is domestic violence awareness month and when most people think of domestic violence, they imagine mostly female victims. However, abuse of men happens as well – in both heterosexual and homosexual relationships. But some are taking it upon themselves to change all that.

Keep Reading Show less

At this point most reasonable people agree that climate change is a serious problem. And while a lot of good people are working on solutions, and we're all chipping in by using fewer plastic bags, it's also helpful to understand where the leading causes of the issue stem from. The list of 20 leading emitters of carbon dioxide by The Guardian newspaper does just that.

Keep Reading Show less
The Planet
via International Labour Organization / Flickr and Michael Moore / Facebook

Before the release of "The Joker" there was a glut of stories in the media about the film's potential to incite violence.

The FBI issued a warning, saying the film may inspire violence from a group known as the Clowncels, a subgroup of the involuntarily celibate or Incel community.

Incels an online subculture who believe they are unable to attract a sexual partner. The American nonprofit Southern Poverty Law Center describes them as "part of the online male supremacist ecosystem" that is included in its list of hate groups.

Keep Reading Show less