Posted: September 21, 2016
(msn.com) – An astronaut on board the International Space Station debuted a colorful flight suit on Friday (Sept. 16) as part of an effort to raise awareness about childhood cancer and the benefits of pairing art with medicine.
NASA flight engineer Kate Rubins revealed “COURAGE,” a hand-painted flight suit created by the pediatric patients recovering at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston. The unique garment was produced by The Space Suit Art Project, a collaboration between MD Anderson, NASA Johnson Space Center and ILC Dover, a company that develops NASA spacesuits.
“This project has really inspired me,” said Rubins during a live video conversation with MD Anderson pediatric cancer patients and representatives of The Space Suit Art Project on Friday. “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.”
Before she launched to the station in July, Rubins joined former-astronaut-turned-artist Nicole Stott and other NASA representatives who lent their time and artistic talents to create “COURAGE” and mentor the young cancer patients at MD Anderson.
“We here are all experiencing our first real art exhibit on the space station,” Stott told Rubins from Mission Control.
Born out of the hospital’s Arts in Medicine Program, which helps patients cope with cancer treatment through art, The Space Suit Art Project inspired the leaders within NASA’s space station program to support the effort with help from astronauts, scientists and engineers. The agency provided the patterns for the suits and collaborated with ILC Dover to assemble the garments.