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NASA Unveils New Sci-Fi Inspired Space Suit Design When man finally steps on to Mars, they will be wearing a suit better equipped to the needs of exploring the terrain of the Red Planet. It’s a design that will allow for better mobility, visibility, and durability. The previous designs were adequate for exploring the Moon and doing spacewalks outside of the International Space Station, but embarking on a manned mission to a planet some 225 million km’s away in an extremely hazardous environment will require some creative ingenuity. It just so happens that while the latest design may not resemble the suit Arnold Schwarznegger wore in Total Recall, it does seem to pay homage to sci-fi pop culture. After 2001, we lamented the future that never came as predicted by Stanley Kubrick and Arthur C. Clarke back in 1968. As we approach the actual Back to the Future Part 2 date in 2015, we’re no where closer to having flying cars, home fusion generators, or hoverboards. However scientists are working twenty-four seven to get us closer to our science fiction dreams just as they’ve done before when Jules Verne predicted the submarine or when Star Trek inspired the flip phone. NASA now has unveiled their new spacesuit design the Z-2, which while not officially, seems to be inspired by the Disney franchise Tron. The groundwork has already been laid for future missions to Mars, and another step along the way is to create a stronger more efficient suit for the future Martians to wear. The new design was voted in from three choices that were given on the NASA website. The Z-2, which was dubbed “Technology” (so as not to make Disney mad), has features such as a hard composite upper torso, which will be much needed for long term durability in harsh Martian terrain. The coolest part of the new suit though is the Tron-esque electroluminescent wiring on the outside of the suit which presumably is make the suit more visible in the depths of dark space. It’s important to note that this suit isn’t going to space anytime soon, it’s just a prototype, an improvement on the Z-1 model. After rigorous testing that will include full vacuum chamber tests, it will make way for the Z-3 model which should be ready to eventually take on the Master Control Program, I mean the cosmos. - Michael Unger

NASA Unveils New Sci-Fi Inspired Space Suit  
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