Project

Space Is Not Enough: Astronaut Suicides in Neil Dacosta’s Project

American photographer had a laugh at NASA’s budget cuts.

Neil Dacosta Age 35

Portland-based photographer. Specializes in commercial shoots. Published his works in Monocle, Forbes, Musee, Raise, and The Picture.

My wife Sara had access to the space suit over a weekend and we knew we had a great opportunity for a photo series. The timing coincided with NASA’s funding being cut and the US space shuttle program being ended. It was perfect. This project was not only a look at NASA’s financial problems, but on a larger scale, the US, and even beyond to the rest of the world.

Our initial actor decided to cancel on us at midnight the night before the shoot. We started to panic, but I thought of another friend, Brian, who would be willing to do it. He agreed but had a rough morning the first day, in the hot suit all day with a hangover from the night before. He was great though and has two large prints of the photos hanging in his house.

This project was not only a look at NASA’s financial problems, but on a larger scale, the US, and even beyond to the rest of the world.

I primarily shoot a lot of commercial work and although I really enjoy the experience, nothing feels better than working on personal projects. It is when you can do what you want to do and not have to answer to anyone else.

We got an email from a former employee of NASA who lost his job when the budget cuts happened. He said he and his former colleagues really enjoyed the project.

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