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From “Fashioning Apollo” to Designing Space Suits for Mars. An Engineering and Socio-cultural Conversation

  • McCarthy Center Forum 100 State Street Framingham, MA, 01702 United States (map)

Dr. Cathleen Lewis, Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum
Dr. Dava Newman, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Dr. Lewis and Dr. Newman will explore the evolution and development of space suits from both engineering and historical and cultural points of view. Panelists will also discuss how challenges of future space missions are changing the design of the suits.

Facilitated by: Pamela Sebor-Cable
Sponsored by: Framingham State University Arts & Ideas Program
Fashioning Apollo & Additional Resources
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Dr. Cathleen Lewis is Curator of International Space Programs and Spacesuits at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Air and Space Museum, specializing in Soviet and Russian programs. Lewis curates Soviet and Russian components of Space Race exhibitions at the museum and is in charge for the conservation of 278 either full or partial suits, including the twelve that have walked on the Moon. Lewis has curated a traveling exhibit for the Smithsonian, “Suited for Space,” that illustrates the evolution of spacesuit technology from the early 20th century until the dawn of the shuttle era. She is presently working on a comparative history of the development of American and Russian spacesuits.

Dr. Dava Newman is the Apollo Program Professor of Aeronautics and Astronautics and Engineering Systems at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a Harvard–MIT Health, Sciences, and Technology faculty member. Her expertise is in multidisciplinary research that combines aerospace biomedical engineering, human-in-the-loop modeling, biomechanics, human-interface technology, life sciences, systems analysis, design, and policy. Newman is the director of the BioSuit project, aimed to develop a skintight spacesuit that offers improvements over modern gas-pressurized spacesuits. Newman was Deputy Administrator of NASA from 2015-2017.

Pamela Sebor-Cable is an assistant professor and the chair of the Fashion Design and Retailing Department at Framingham State University. Professor Sebor-Cable has also worked with Boston Ballet and Costume Works.