Update: Nasa has announced that Option B, ‘technology’ has won the contest.
Space behemoths Nasa want you help to pick the next spacesuit for astronauts and have made the potential options look nothing like the traditional spacesuit.
The three options they’ve presented are radically different to the suits which have been used in the past and even incorporate 3D printing in the production of the suits.
Nasa say the designs are the first surface-specific planetary suit to be tested in a full vacuum, they’re the most advanced use of impact resistant composite structures on a suit upper and lower torso system.
The design vote for the new prototype suit is the latest of Nasa’s attempts to use members of the public in its work. Most recently the organisation has been asking for people to help them detect asteroids in space.
Here are the three designs:
Option A: Biomimicry
The first choice from Nasa is inspired by another of the human race’s largely unexplored areas – although this is much closer to home. Its design has been based on the world’s oceans and includes segmented pleats at the shoulders.
Nasa says: “Mirroring the bioluminescent qualities of aquatic creatures found at incredible depths, and the scaly skin of fish and reptiles found across the globe, this design reflects the qualities that protect some of Earth’s toughest creatures.”
Option B: Technology’
The second choice put forward by the space organisation was designed by those thinking about past achievements and incorporating elements of the future.
Nasa says: “The design specifically includes electroluminescent wire and patches across the upper and lower torso, exposed rotating bearings, collapsing pleats for mobility and highlighted movement, and abrasion resistant panels on the lower torso.”
Option C: Trends in Society
The final option presented by Nasa has been designed with the idea of what clothes may look like in the future and has a bright colour scheme which is intended to, in part, mimic the world of wearable technologies.
Nasa say: “The design specifically includes gore pleats with contrast stitching throughout to highlight mobility, an exposed bearing at the hip, and electroluminescent wire and patches of varying styles across both the upper and lower torso.”
All images courtesy of Nasa.