NASA hasn't needed to design a new spacesuit since the moon trips. The ones they wore back then would today be considered the “Mom jeans” of spacesuits, which is why the space agency is asking for help picking out a new design for its Z-series deep-space astronaut suits for trips to asteroids, Mars and beyond.
The three options for the outer layer of the Z-2 prototype are on display for viewing and voting at the Z-2 Space Suit Design Vote website. They will fit over the Z-2 prototype spacesuit being designed by ILC Dover, which also designed the three outer suits. Each will have electroluminescent wires and patches to help engineers monitor the suits during testing.
Here are the three designs:
The "Biomimicry" design is based on the tough shells and skins of deep-sea creatures to protect astronauts in harsh environments.
The “Technology” suit is designed for flexible movements and has a more futuristic look.
The “Trends in Society” suit is the most fashionable design and incorporates features of sportswear.
The winning design is expected to be ready by November 2014 for testing at Johnson Space Center's simulated Mars rock yard and in the Neutral Buoyancy Laboratory.
The deadline is April 15. Do your part to make space travel safe and hip – vote now!