NASA is currently in the prototype stage of their new spacesuit the Z-2.
Travelling to others planets is a serious business, and NASA recognises the constant need for perfection when it comes to the astronaut’s safety. It seems NASA also has an eye on a good design and wants your help in choosing their next spacesuit. This type of interaction helps to give more exposure to NASA, but also makes space travel even more exciting when you can be involved in the selection of the spacesuit.
The new suits are a continuation of the Z line first seen with the Z-1 prototype spacesuit. For those that missed the Z-1 coverage in Geek Magazine, we’ve included a picture below, and yes, it does bear a resemblance to a certain Pixar spaceman.
The Z-2 also has its own new functions and is definitely not a case of style over substance. Its ground breaking features are listed below, courtesy of NASA.
- First surface-specific planetary mobility suit to be tested in full vacuum
- First use of 3D human laser scans and 3D-printed hardware for suit development and sizing
- Most advanced use of impact resistant composite structures on a suit upper and lower torso system
- First integration of the suit-port concept with a hard upper torso suit structure
- Most conformal and re-sizeable hard upper torso suit built to date
NASA has created (with the help of ILC and Philadelphia University) three designs for the public to choose from going under the intriguing titles Biomimicry, Technology and Trends in Society.
The Biomimicry suit has segmented pleats and has an electroluminescent wire around the torso which glows in reduced light areas. The design is inspired by the environment, in this case the oceans. It uses similar design characteristics to the evolutionary features of fish and marine life to bring the suit to life as well as make it practical.
The Technology suit as you would expect draws from our love of technological advancement and also takes into account the designs from previous spacesuits. It has a different wire design this time and incorporates light patches into it for a more futuristic look.
Finally we have the Trends in Society suit which takes influence from the sport clothes of today as well as possible clothes for us in the future. It has gore pleats and contact stitching which shows off its mobility and again the use of electroluminescent wire to make the suit more visible.
They all look incredible, and in some respect they all share elements of the spacesuits we’ve seen in various works of science fiction. The suits will be finished in November of this year, and if you want to have your say in what design NASA use you will need to click here to be able to vote on which you think is best.
Voting ends April the 15th with the winner been announced on the 30th, so there is still time to be a part of space history. As it stands Technology is far in the lead with 63 percent of the votes, but that could all change. All you need to do is vote!