Striking a Buzz Lightyear-like pose above is the winning design for NASA’s Z-2 spacesuit prototype. The version, called “technology”, was by far the popular vote in an online contest the agency held to choose between three prototypes, garnering 62% of 233,431 votes.
While this will never be used in space, NASA said the next-generation prototype will be useful in helping design future spacesuits. And this prototype will go through a “test campaign” that includes vacuum tests, pool tests in NASA’s Neutral Buoyancy Laboratory and in an area at the Johnson Space Center that simulates the surface of Mars.
“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. 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,” NASA stated.
To learn more about the suit and the differences from its predecessor, the Z-1, check out this recent Universe Today article.
Elizabeth Howell is the senior writer at Universe Today. She also works for Space.com, Space Exploration Network, the NASA Lunar Science Institute, NASA Astrobiology Magazine and LiveScience, among others. Career highlights include watching three shuttle launches, and going on a two-week simulated Mars expedition in rural Utah. You can follow her on Twitter @howellspace or contact her at her website.