Nasa has collected more than 200,000 votes from members of the public who are on a mission to help the space agency select the spacesuit of the future.
Voting ends at midnight ET on Tuesday for the newest iteration of Nasa’s spacesuit. The competition pits three suits – “Biomimicry”, “Technology” and “Trends in Society” – against each other before the winner can be tested in Nasa’s facilities.
The winning suit is expected to be built by November will be tested in vacuum chambers, at Nasa’s training pool and a false Mars surface.
The Z-2 prototype follows 2012’s Z-1 suit, which had a design pleasantly reminiscent of the suit Buzz Lightyear wears in Toy Story.
Each prototype is tested for mobility, comfort and performance will be tested to guide the design of the next Z-series suit. The selected design for Z-2 will not be used in space because those suits for space missions require more high-performance technologies and materials than the current designs are capable of incorporating. Instead, the Z-2 designs are used as guides for testing and to eventually create a final product.
The Z-2 designs up for vote all have features that make them luminescent in the dark.
The “Biomimicry” design is supposed to be reminiscent of the ocean and “the scaly skin of fish and reptiles.
The “Technology,” design uses light-emitting patches and luminescent wire.
The “Trends in Society” also uses the luminescent wire along with “a bright color scheme to mimic the appearance of sportswear and the emerging world of wearable technologies.”
“After the positive response to the Z-1 suit’s visual design we received, we wanted to take the opportunity to provide this new suit with an equally memorable appearance,” said Nasa in a statement.
Nasa will use 3D human laser scans and 3D printing hardware to create the suit.