NASA is developing a prototype for a brand-new spacesuit that will begin testing this fall, in anticipation of a manned mission to Mars. Super exciting! Science! The future! And also… the ugliest, weirdest looking outfit we’ve ever seen? With shorts?
The Z-2 next generation spacesuit is all one piece, and has lots of great new featuree; for example, it allows astronauts to slide directly from a pressurized vehicle into the suit, simply by removing the life support system and the hatch cover. Unlike the earlier, Z-1 prototype, the Z-2 has a hard torso for extra durability and improved designs in the shoulders and hips. The crazy, electroluminescent TRON-lighting was voted on by the public as the best exterior for the suit, and will provide extra visibility. The part where it looks like Gru from Despicable Me and Buzz Lightyear had a baby, well, we’re not so sure about.
The Z-2 will be fully built and ready for testing by November 2014. If you want extra details on what makes the suit so great, check out this new infographic from Space.com.
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