Back in 2012, NASA revealed a Buzz Lightyear-esque spacesuit design called the Z-1 that promised better range of motion and mobility. But now the institute has upgraded the original prototype to the Z-2 and wants the public to choose a design for the outer shell.
Spacesuits for function and style
The Z-2 is an upgrade to the first model, featuring a new hard composite upper torso and other design changes that NASA implemented after testing the Z-1 for two years. While each shell design has the historical structure of a spacesuit, all three are odd and unique in different ways. Biomimicry draws inspiration from the ocean, with reptilian-like scaly skin and embedded lights to channel the "bioluminescent qualities" of deep sea fish. Technology focuses on function, incorporating collapsing pleats for increased mobility and abrasion resistant panels on the torso. Trends in Society is based off of everyday apparel, looking like a cloth cover for the internal suit that has electroluminescent wire and patches across the body.
NASA has set up a website with the three designs and the public can vote until April 15. But unfortunately the crowd favorite won't even make it into space: according to NASA, it'll be used on Earth for things like ground-based training and vacuum chamber tests. For now, we'll just have to keep dreaming for stylish space travel.