Save up to 90% on a Hartford Courant subscription. Click here to sign up now!

Ridley Scott

'Martian' spacesuits had to look ready to survive space but be ready to survive lights, cameras, action

If you're going to make the most technologically advanced, realistic spacesuit costume in just eight weeks, it pays to go to the experts. To create a range of suits for director Ridley Scott's "The Martian," the tale of an astronaut stranded on Mars, costume designer Janty Yates worked closely with NASA, visited the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, consulted with the Smithsonian and spoke to the institution's spacesuit curator.

As astronaut Mark Watney, actor Matt Damon spent the bulk of his screen time in an orange, white and gray "surface suit" that artfully blended movie magic and high-tech engineering. Though the cinematic suits don't have to...