Nasa unveiled its latest prototype spacesuit on Tuesday, after opening the decision to an online vote.
More than 230,000 votes were cast in the competition to determine the design of the Z-2 suit, which closed on 15 April.
This suit will be the first suit tested in full vacuum conditions at Nasa’s John Space Center in Houston, where it will also be tested in a pool and on a false Mars surface. Nasa will build the suit using 3D human laser scans and 3D printing hardware.
The winning design is expected to be ready for testing in November 2014. It builds off of tests on the Z-1 series Buzz Lightyear-esque design to make the Z-2 closer to being space-ready.
Z-series suits are not intended for flight because they lack the high-performance materials needed for extreme space environments. Instead, results of testing the suits will be used to inform future space-ready suits.
“With the agency laser focused on a path to Mars, work to develop the technologies astronauts one day will use to live and work on Mars has already begun,” Nasa said in a statement. “Each iteration of the Z-series will advance new technologies that one day will be used in a suit worn by the first humans to step foot on the Red Planet.”
The Biomimicry suit had nearly 23% of the vote when polling closed. This design was meant to reflect another harsh environment, the ocean.
Nasa said “Trends in Society” was inspired by “the emerging world of wearable technologies” and sportswear. It received just over 14% of the vote.
ILC Dover, Nasa’s primary suit vendor, and Philadelphia University collaborated to create the three designs.
Source: The Guardian
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