TORONTO – No, this isn’t a scene from the next blockbuster sci-fi thriller – this is the final design for NASA’s next generation Z-2 spacesuit, which could eventually be worn by astronauts on the red planet.
The Tron-inspired spacesuit was chosen as the winning design by the public in the space agency’s spacesuit design competition. Dubbed the “Technology” suit, the design beat out two others for over 63 per cent of the votes.
“Technology” pays homage to the progress that has been made in space suit design, while incorporating ideas for the future of the suit. The design features electroluminescent wire designs and exposed rotating bearings.
The design had a total of 233,431 votes on the NASA website.
It beat out the “Biomimicry” design, which was designed to mimic the light given off by deep sea creatures, and the “Trends in Society” suit, inspired by modern sportswear.
The Z-2 suit is the latest endeavor in NASA’s Z-series, which is aimed at mobility and ease of use for astronauts. The suits are all technologically advanced and designed for lengthy spacewalks.
According to a press release, each iteration of the Z-series suit will continue to advance on NASA’s technologies so that the suit can one day be worn by the first astronauts on Mars.
The original suit, the Z-1, debuted in 2012 in a bid to upgrade NASA’s spacesuits for possible manned missions beyond Earth’s orbit. The Z-1 was named one of Time Magazine’s Best Inventions of 2012.
The Z-2 has many upgrades to the body of the suit and features new design elements like electroluminescent wiring – which has never been used on a spacesuit before.
NASA said the suit will be ready for testing in November 2014.
© Shaw Media, 2014