In Pictures: Nasa want you to pick the next space suit

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.”

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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.”

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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.”

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All images courtesy of Nasa.


In pictures: Hubble Telescope releases stunning new image to celebrate 24 years in orbit

In April the Hubble telescope, which has been in orbit since 1990, will turn 24 and to celebrate this momentous occasion Nasa has released a new image from the telescope.

The image is part of NGC 2174, which is most commonly known as the Monkey Head Nebula. The colourful region is filled with young stars.

The latest release shows colourful plumes of gas and fiery bright stars in the nebula.

The Hubble Space Telescope, a 2.4m aperture telescope in low Earth orbit, was carried into orbit by a space shuttle. It has four main instruments which observe near ultraviolet, visible and near infrared spectra.

New Hubble image of NGC 2174

The new image of NGC 2174, which lies about 6400 light-years away from Earth in the constellation of Orion. The key ingredient in tNGC 2174 is hydrogen gas, which is ionised by radiation emitted by the young stars.


Image courtesy of Nasa, ESA and the Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA).


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This image shows a wide field view of NGC 2174. The region of sky surrounding NGC 2174 is more commonly known as the Money Head Nebula. The small square near the centre of the image shows the location of the previous photo.


Image courtesy of NASA, ESA, Digitized Sky Survey (DSS), STScI/AURA, Palomar/Caltech


Visible and Infrared Comparison of NGC 2174

This image shows the visible and infrared comparison of the same detailed area in the star-forming nebula NGC 2174. Located on the left is a visible-light image and on the right is the infrared version. Infrared light penetrates more dust and gas than visible light allowing details to become visible.


Image courtesy of NASA, ESA, and the Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA), and J. Hester


Location of the Hubble IR Detail in NGC 2174

The image on the right shows the region of NGC 2174 taken in infrared. The left image comes from a ground based image taken by an amateur astrophotographer – the square shows the region where the Hubble’s photograph is located.


Image courtesy of  NASA, ESA, and the Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA), and R. Crisp

Featured image courtesy of European Space Agency