I've already considered that they may file their horns down, but keeping in mind that their horns gradually regrow, it is an inconvenient solution.

This is what their horns typically look like:


They do have very strong neck muscles, but I don't want the helmet to be overly cumbersome.

I'm open to other solutions that circumvent a helmet, too, but still fill the required needs, which are:

  • Allows the alien to breathe in space or on inhospitable planets
  • Keeps their head at the correct pressure in low and high pressure environments
  • Protects the head from radiation, heat and cold
  • Protects the eyes from intense light

Details about the horns:

  • Their horns have no blood supply or nerves except at the base; the base of the horn is responsible for regrowing, repairing, and shedding the horn.
  • They can withstand large temperature ranges (albiet less so in the cold margins) provided that the transition is slow, otherwise the horns will fracture.
  • If exposed to sand storms or very acidic environments, the horns will wear down rapidly or in the latter case, decompose.
  • When the horn is regrowing, a velvet like sheath with a blood supply conceales it. If this blood supply is completely constricted, the growing horn will die and fall off. If not enough blood is allowed, the horn will be bendy, like cartilage, and grow at a reduced rate.
  • The horns regrow from the base, not the tip. They are triggered to fall off entirely when a high margin of damage has been accumulated. (Assume they have an innate way of detecting this without pain-triggering nerves, like how a tree can regrow from being cut down, or how plants have measures of repairing themselves when injured without feeling pain)

The technology that they have available to them is equal to what you can expect from space-fairing human technology, as they were uplifted by humans at their equivalent of the Bronze Age. Assume this technology is advanced enough to make self sustaining migrant ships to traverse the Milky Way, but not advanced enough to travel near lightspeed, nor resourceful enough to entirely colonize barren, unsustaining planets.

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    $\begingroup$ I don't want the helmet to be overly cumbersome As people think through answers, please bear in mind that your creatures have horns and you're thinking like a human. Human helmets must accomodate the size of our heads, our ears, noses, the fact that our faces project forward from our necks, and some (if not all) hair. We don't think it's cumbersome because it's what we are. Your aliens won't think of their horns (or the helmets accomodating them) as cumbersome. Heck - heads are cumbersome. You have to keep moving them to avoid hitting tree branches. $\endgroup$ – JBH Jan 5 at 20:33
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    $\begingroup$ Also, you're only considering their shape (the volume of space affected by their existence). Let's assume you build a helmet that simply has well-sealed holes for the horns. Please explain the nature of the horns. Are there nerves in the horns? How would they react to the vacuum of space? Would they take damage in high heat or low cold? How would they stand up to a fierce sand storm? Can I expose the horn to the vagaries of scifi space travel? $\endgroup$ – JBH Jan 5 at 20:37
  • $\begingroup$ @JBH The horns are antler like in it's beginning growth stages shortly after the alien is born, supplying nutrients to grow the 'horn'. The velvet like structure sheds as the horn grows under it (think of it like young teeth growing out of gums). When the horn is fully developed, no blood supply remains except at the very base. Provided you are above the base of the horn, there are no nerves, and it can fall off/regrow if cut or severely damaged. $\endgroup$ – Tardigreat Jan 5 at 20:42
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    $\begingroup$ Thanks, please edit your question to include that information (and hopefully quite a bit more). Never assume people will read through comments to find clarifications. Cheers! $\endgroup$ – JBH Jan 5 at 20:51
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    $\begingroup$ Inspired by Doctor Who? $\endgroup$ – Rand al'Thor Jan 6 at 14:22

Standard sleeves that glue over your horns

Since the horns are not damaged by the vacuum of space, you simply put a semi-permanent sleeve on them at the appropriate location. The sleeves are made in a variety of sizes, but all have a common outside diameter. They have a polished, hardened surface with a locking ring.

When donning the suit, you thread your horns through the standard sized holes, which lock into the standard sleeve.

Epoxy would fill the gap between the manufactured piece and the particular form of your horns. A formulation of epoxy would be used that is vulnerable to being dissolved by a particular chemical unlikely to be found in regular operations. Or a coating of cyanoacrylate would be laid down first. That is dissolvable by acetone, unlike epoxy.

Astronauts would typically have these installed as they elevate in the space program to where they would be fitted for a suit. They could have them removed when the government said "you are done with space travel for awhile".

Lots of men who were not actually in the space program would get them to impress the ladies.

  • $\begingroup$ I like this answer, especially the tid bit that the horn sleeves might be used as badges of honor or souvenirs after being retired. $\endgroup$ – Tardigreat Jan 6 at 4:36
  • $\begingroup$ Why use an epoxy? You could have the ring screw into the helmet (a part of a one-piece suit in your idea? How do you get that on? Needs to be very stretchy at the horns). This means you can more easily take it off rather than need chemicals. For example in my idea the locking ring could pull the helmet parts close together while screwibg it in to ensure an airtight fit $\endgroup$ – Demigan Jan 6 at 8:31

I dont see much of a problem?

This is the helmet NASA made: https://www.nasa.gov/images/content/345643main_grunsfeld-m_946-710.jpg

It fits over the head and locks down on a ring on the suit. Looking at the rest of the suit, you can see that the hands for instance dont have a full "skeleton" around them to keep it pressurized. And the helmet of your horned space faring aliens will be able to do similar things.

Make the helmet in two or three parts (or more if theres more horns). First you put a space-suit like material over the horns like the one's around the hands, with nice padding to keep warm. With a locking ring similar to the one around the neck at the base of the horn material. You lock together the Rings around each horn with the front and back piece(s) of the helmet, creating a seal around both the horn openings and the neck. Done!


Basically it all just comes down to size:

Easy as pi with Acme Space Division's Helm360, which offers basic functionality in an astounding range of bowl and neck sizes:

enter image description here

We also offer our Inalienable-2500, a line of comfortable bespoke helmets, suitable for our extraterrestrial customers with difficult to manage appendages or anatomy:

enter image description here

If your Star Armada is currently experiencing Imperial budgetary cuts and you're looking for a more economical but still smart design, try our Tholium-1000 line! Comes in a variety of neck openings and the cranio-vault can be expanded with our patented inflation technology to accommodate a large number of diverse crew members:

enter image description here

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    $\begingroup$ How would they turn their heads? The top and bottom helmets would need space to pull the helmet over thehead, but since the helmet does not move with the head you need space in the rear for the horns to move, thats a lot of space. The middle helmets would have a problem with putting the helmet on, you first have to pull them over the horns and then somehow ram the front of the skull through the helmet? It would need to open and close at the face. $\endgroup$ – Demigan Jan 6 at 12:30
  • $\begingroup$ Well, as indicated, the top helmet comes in a wide range of sizes, so you'd do basic metrics: head tilt & nod, rotation, etc. and order a bowl size appropriate. The third model uses a kind of (somewhat unspecified) inflation technology. It could be that the helmet inflates and deflates to accommodate head geometry. We already have the tech to do this, so it would just be a matter of application. The middle helmet, as indicated, is bespoke. It is constructed in such a way that it will fit the alien's head. Very likely it would be a multipart device: poss. visor and occipital sections. $\endgroup$ – elemtilas Jan 6 at 16:03
  • $\begingroup$ Head tilt and rotation would make for some huuuge helmets. The inflateable one's with pre-formed shape are nice idea's. The middle helmet being multiple sections is a solid idea. $\endgroup$ – Demigan Jan 6 at 17:42
  • $\begingroup$ @Demigan --- The engineers at Acme are well aware of that! But look at the strapping big fellow that's going to wear it! He's not exactly tiny! Humans have it easy: basically round heads with no long protrusions. Aliens with "extra" anatomy are definitely more challenging! He's also got a long neck, which means either a really huge fish bowl, or else an accordion fold segment to accommodate the neck. $\endgroup$ – elemtilas Jan 7 at 0:21

One time use custom instant helmets.

Your horned folks are probably going to have all kinds of different length, shape and number of horns. They will need custom helmets.

I propose they could apply the helmets as expanding foam, or something like shrink wrap. It would cover irregular horns and faces and then rapidly harden or stiffen as appropriate. The film / foam would be applied directly onto the wearer, with the face/plate and respiratory apparatus as a framework already on.

The result would be a helmet which recognizably has the horn structure of the individual wearer, which is the dream we all dream of.

Removing the helmet would mean destroying it, or at least the film / foam component. It would break away. Perhaps these materials would be recyclable or maybe thrown out. I have to think the face plate and attachment framework would be reused, and not be specific to an individual head shape.


I don't get why you're so worried about cumbersome unless you were thinking the helmet had to be a sphere.

Think of the horns as structural members, maybe supporting a heat radiator panel between them. They don't need a lot of space around them so an flexible sleeve would work quite well. It could be made with nested semi-rigid sections like the collapsible bowl or cup sets used by campers.

Collapsible, nesting cup and bowl set


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