Feeds

Voters pick luminous tech spacesuit as NASA's off-world fashion statement

Does my cooling unit look big in this?

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

NASA has announced the winning design to its new line of spacesuits after a public vote on competing style tips.

NASA's new Z-2 spacesuit

"Why's that little green man laughing at me?"

The spacesuit is the second of NASA's Z-Series designs that will one day replace the more traditional suits used in space today. NASA wanted a design that would be optimized for manned missions to other bodies in the Solar System, rather than for in-flight wear.

"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. "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 winning design, dubbed "Technology," has a clear helmet that affords 360 degrees of viewing and a rigid torso to protect the suit's systems and its fleshy inhabitant, with woven flexible joints and redesigned boots for trekking over the lunar or Martian regolith.

Luminous patches and electroluminescent wiring on the outside of the suit will be used to identify which astronaut is which, replacing the current system of bands of color on astronauts' arms.

The winning design garnered 147,354 votes, around 63 per cent of the total vote. The other two designs – "Biomimicry" and "Trends in Society" – got 53,057 and 33,020 votes, respectively.

The suit will now be sent down to NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston for testing, including dumping it in a vacuum chamber to check for leaks, immersing it in the huge swimming pool that makes up the agency's Neutral Buoyancy Lab, and trying it out in a simulated rocky Martian environment – but by the 2030s, NASA wants astronauts to use the suit to explore the Red Planet in person. ®

Boost IT visibility and business value

More from The Register

next story
Our LOHAN spaceplane ballocket Kickstarter climbs through £8000
Through 25 per cent but more is needed: Get your UNIQUE rewards!
Cutting cancer rates: Data, models and a happy ending?
How surgery might be making cancer prognoses worse
Boffins ID freakish spine-smothered prehistoric critter: The CLAW gave it away
Bizarre-looking creature actually related to velvet worms
CRR-CRRRK, beep, beep: Mars space truck backs out of slippery sand trap
Curiosity finds new drilling target after course correction
SpaceX prototype rocket EXPLODES over Texas. 'Tricky' biz, says Elon Musk
No injuries or near injuries. Flight stayed in designated area
Brit balloon bod Bodnar overflies North Pole
B-64 amateur ultralight payload approaching second circumnavigation
Galileo, Galileo! Galileo, Galileo! Galileo fit to go. Magnifico
I'm just a poor boy, nobody loves me. But at least I can find my way with ESA GPS by 2017
Astronomers scramble for obs on new comet
Amateur gets fifth confirmed discovery
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup
IT departments are embracing cloud backup, but there’s a lot you need to know before choosing a service provider. Learn all the critical things you need to know.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?