NASA Releases Prototype Of Spacesuit Astronauts Will Wear On Mars

The z-2 spacesuit

The z-2 spacesuit

Humans will be travelling to Mars sometime in the mid 2030’s. Nasa is getting ready to recruit astronauts for the mission, as well as providing insight into future technologies for space travel. The latest reveal comes in the form of the Z-2 spacesuit prototype.
The z-2 spacesuit was designed with one goal in mind – to allow astronauts to safely explore foreign planets. The z-2 is not built for space walks on on board spacecraft uses cases, but will be used when humans eventually reach the red planet.

“The suit is designed for maximum astronaut productivity on a planetary surface – exploring, collecting samples, and maneuvering in and out of habitats and rovers,” NASA explained.

The suit itself is made with adjustable shoulders and waistband to allow a range for more than one crew member to fit into just one suit. In spite of the flexible nature of the new suits, the design is said to be incredibly tough and more durable than it’s predecessors.

“The Z-2 uses advanced composites to achieve a light-weight, high-durability suit that can withstand long-duration missions in the harsh environments found on Mars,” said NASA.

The original conceptions

The suit, still in prototype phases, has shifted it’s origins since being chosen last year as part of a public poll. It beat out two other suit designs selected for the mission. Below you can see what the Z-2 looked like from it’s original conceptions:

Here’s what the z-2 spacesuit looks like from the front

Here’s what the z-2 spacesuit looks like from the back

The initial conceptions

The design progressed from it’s initial conceptions into a more streamlined and produced version of the z-2 spacesuit.

One of the most unique things about the z-2 is a new method of entry into the suit; an entry hatch on the back of the design that allows astronauts to climb into the item, almost as if entering a spacecraft.

As awesome as the Tron like z-2 spacesuite may be, temper expectations for it’s eventual release. This is after all a prototype that is not fully fledged. The suit will be ground tested before being optimized even further. And as the suit is still in “non-flight phase” it’s not currently rated to shield harmful radiation needed to keep astronauts safe.

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