Science

NASA’s new prototype spacesuit design is pure sci-fi awesomeness (photos)

Z2 spacesuit
Image Credit: NASA

Astronauts may soon look as sleek and cool as they do in sci-fi movies.

NASA unveiled the winning design for the outer shell of its new Z-2 spacesuit today. The space agency invited people to choose from three different versions of the suit, which uses light-emitting patches and luminescent wires — a first for NASA spacesuits. This makes it easy to incorporate different designs on the suit itself, and could prove helpful in identifying each individual astronaut while in the field.

The winning design, which received 63 percent of the vote, was likely inspired by the neon blue suits worn by characters in the movie TRON and TRON Legacy. (Seriously, this would pretty much be the TRON suit if NASA had incorporated blue disks into the back.) The other two designs featured yellow or white lighting and didn’t look nearly as cool, as you can see in the photo below.

Z2-01

Above: Three design choices for the outer shell of NASA’s prototype Z-2 spacesuit.

The Z-2 spacesuit, while still a prototype, will eventually get put to use for humanity’s first manned mission to Mars, NASA said. Hopefully the space agency will figure out a way to include the cool TRON design when that finally happens.

For a closer look at the new Z-2 suit, check out the gallery of images below.