NASA’s new Space suit will take you to Infinity and Beyond!
NASA have unveiled their new prototype space suit, the Z-1. As you can see there is a little bit of Buzz Lightyear to it.
The new suit is a lot more mobile than previous space suits. It also has a large port on the back which means it is easier to put on and take off. The port also docks with a spacecraft or space station meaning there is no need for an airlock.
It has been designed to suit a number of different mission types.
The Z-1 prototype suit is also mobile. Bearings in the suit’s joints will give astronauts the flexibility to hop over lunar or martian soil with more grace than the explorers who wore older NASA exosuits. But the basic technology remains the same as existing space suits, meaning astronauts will still fight against the balloons of air inside their suits to move, expending extra energy with every step or bend of the arm. Of course, since those balloons of air are keeping them alive, the trade-off is worthwhile.
A focus on radiation protection will make the Z-1 suitable for longer spacewalks, but there’s a good chance NASA’s astronauts will look little like Buzz Lightyear by the time they actually were the next-generation suit into space. Despite being named one of Times’ best inventions of the year, Z-1 is just a prototype that NASA will be building on with Z-2 and Z-3 revisions. NASA recently finished testing the suit, which means work on the Z-2 can’t be far off.
It is great that NASA are pushing forward with a new space suit. Doing this shows they are still planning on the exploration of space which will benefit all of us and help push forward many different aspects of design and technology.
NASA plans to have the Z-3 spaceworthy and up on the ISS by 2017.