Kate Rubins, a NASA flight engineer, sported a colorful space suit designed by children from the Houston Cancer Foundation this Friday. The action was part of a campaign designed to raise awareness on the benefits of art paired with medicine and the efforts of battling childhood cancer.
COURAGE, the space suit designed by children fighting cancer, is more than just a fashion statement. It’s the result of a collaboration between ILC Dover, NASA Johnson Space Center, and MD Anderson. It’s also the result of hard work of child cancer patients that are encouraged to use art as an outlet for their sorrow caused by the terrible illness.
During a live conversation with the patients from the MD Anderson Pediatric Cancer Center, Rubins declared that she was inspired by the project and that she was honored to wear the colorful suit created for her by the children that are being treated there.
“It was an amazing opportunity to get a chance to paint with you guys. I remember this suit when it was just a blank canvas and all of you guys painted on it,” the space engineer told her audience.
Before she left for the ISS, Rubins teamed up with former astronaut Nicole Stott and other NASA employees and spent some time with the patients at the MD Anderson facility, mentoring the children and trying to make their hospital days a little brighter.
“We here are all experiencing our first real art exhibit on the space station,” Stott said to Rubins from the Mission Control chamber.
The Arts in Medicine Program was founded with the intent of helping children battling cancer to cope with their illness through art. The Space Suit Art Project brought together children, astronauts, engineers, and scientists.
Their joint efforts took the shape of a multi-colored flight suit that can be worn inside the Space Station. COURAGE, as the suit was dubbed, was delivered to the ISS on July 20th via the Dragon cargo carried by SpaceX.
COURAGE is not the first suit created via the foundation. The original suit was HOPE, and it was stitched from over 600 art pieces painted by the staff and patients at MD Anderson.
A second replica suit is now in the makings.
You can check out the conversation between Kate Rubins and the designers of her unique space suit in the video embedded below.
Image source: Wikipedia