There’s no denying that NASA’s spacesuits needed a modern touch, but their newest model resembles the one worn by Buzz Lightyear in Disney/Pixar’s Toy Story more than anyone would have hoped.
With the Mayan apocalypse upon us, the space seemed the only solution the humankind had been left with. The apocalypse came and went, with no noticeable events, whatsoever. Even NASA insisted that nothing is going to happen, that the impact with Nibiru, or any other gigantic planet/meteorite/asteroid, for that matter, is impossible. Without a doubt, such an impact would have been predicted by astronomers and scientists weeks in advance. However, a few days before the date the Mayans predicted the beginning of a new cycle, a few photos popped up on Flickr, announcing NASA’s new suits.
The new generation of suits, called Z-1, is NASA’s first in two decades. Judging by the following pictures, it is safe to assume that the designers of this space suit might have watched a bit too many cartoons in their time. Good thing it is not labeled in any way (apart from the NASA logo), cause we wouldn’t want aliens to spend a lot of their bendable time learning about pop-culture references, now would we?
You might have noticed from the above images that the resemblance between NASA’s new space suit is determined not only by the bright green trim, but also by the large transparent hemispherical dome that will cover the astronaut’s head.
The Z-1 Prototype Spacesuit and Portable Life Support System (PLSS) 2.0 comes with several innovations, and not only in terms of design. The new space suits will be easier to put on. For comparison, the astronauts require around an hour to climb into the suits that NASA has been using till now.
Getting the pressure right will no longer be a problem, either. The backpack seen in the last image also acts as a hatch that locks to other space ships or Rover-resembling vehicles. The pressure inside the suit is controlled via urethane-coated nylon and polyester layers. The cooling system has also been improved, not to mention that the carbon dioxide is eliminated easier.
To be frank, I would have liked the astronaut in the last picture to have the Moon in the background or, why not, even a New Earth. It might take NASA another couple of years till it turns the Z-1 from a prototype into the regular suit, and I, personally, I’m looking forward to that moment.
On a slightly related matter, you might be interested in watching the following video, titled SUPERCUT: Helmet Oddity, which is a tribute to all space helmets in cinema.