It does now seem inevitable that there will be manned missions to Mars this century, so designing a practical 21st century space suit may not be such a crazy idea. NASA is showing off its designs, report via BBC News:
US space agency Nasa has been showing off the wardrobe essentials for future astronauts looking for a new outfit for their first flight to Mars.
Nasa said the Z-2 spacesuit was only a prototype, but elements of it would be incorporated into the suit worn by the first humans to reach the Red Planet.
The suit uses light-emitting patches and luminescent wire that could be customised to identify individuals.
The “technology” design beat two others with 63% of a public vote of 233,431.
The suit will be tested in Nasa’s pools used to teach astronauts to spacewalk
The others were:
- a “bio-mimicry” suit, which mirrored the bioluminescence of aquatic creatures and the tough scaly skins of fish and reptiles
- a “trends in society” suit, which reflected what everyday clothes may look like in the future
The Z-2 will be built using 3D-printed parts, and 3D laser scans will ensure each suit fits each astronaut perfectly.
It will be tested in vacuum chambers, at Nasa’s training pool and at a site that imitates the rocky Martian surface…
[continues at BBC News]