New NASA spacesuit looks like it stepped out of the digital world of TRON
Friday, May 2, 2014, 6:15 - Public voting for NASA's newest space suit design have yielded a clear victor, and it's looking like astronauts of the future would fit in quite well if they were suddenly beamed into the computer world of the TRON movies.
This design, called the Z-2, was one of three that were rolled out to the public to vote on, and given its futuristic look, it's rather appropriate that it was nicknamed 'Technology.'
According to the NASA Johnson Space Center website:
"'Technology' pays homage to spacesuit achievements of the past while incorporating subtle elements of the future. By using Luminex wire and light-emitting patches, this design puts a new spin on spacewalking standards such as ways to identify crew members."
"The design specifically includes electroluminescent wire and patches across the upper and lower torso, exposed rotating bearings, collapsing pleats for mobility and highlighted movement, and abrasion resistant panels on the lower torso."
The Z-2 won't be headed to space anytime soon, unfortunately. It's still a prototype, so it will have to go through several test phases, including basic ones like in vacuum chambers, and even use during various 'Mars analogue' missions here on Earth. The results from all of this, along with ratings on the suit's various features, how comfortable it is to wear (astronauts can spend over six hours in them during a spacewalk), how much mobility it allows and its general performance, will be used by the Johnson Space Center personnel to continue the design process.
More information on the Z-2 and other NASA space suits can be found on their website (click here).