NASA is currently testing a prototype Z-1 spacesuit that looks more like a horrible, quasi-futuristic Ghostbusters and trash bag mash-up than an awesome suit that’s meant to be worn in space. Why does it look like this? Because NASA has no idea where it’s headed next.
The idea of the Z-1 spacesuit, according to Popular Mechanics, is to be completely versatile for any situation. Because NASA’s next destination is unclear, the suit has to be ready for every space destination. Right now, the suit is being tested in a vacuum chamber and is capable of exploring, floating and weathering radiation in deep space. There’s a purpose to this madness! Or something like that.
The backpack port connects the suit with the spacecraft. It looks not unlike what I imagine a space surfboard to look like. According to Popular Mechanics, the Z-1 suit has bearings at the waist, hips, upper legs and ankles for mobility. The outer covering also hides the inner suit, “a layer of urethane-coated nylon retains air, and a polyester layer allows the suit to hold its shape.” That all sounds so fancy but I want my astronauts to look like superheroes, not space trash bags. Head over to Popular Mechanics to check out the Z-1 suit in more detail. [Popular Mechanics via DVICE]