As of Wednesday, August 23, 2017
Think of it as a game of astronaut dress up. NASA is working on its next-generation space suit to replace the Z-1—and you can help the space agency decide what it looks like.
The Z-2 suit is designed using 3D laser scanning and 3D-printed hardware. The suit has to be impact-resistant and must feature a resizable fit. It still features the bulky silhouette we’ve come to expect on space travelers in the post-“Barbarella” era.
NASA has come up with three possible designs, each with distinctive features, and they’re inviting the public to vote on their favorite design. But you have to act fast, voting is only open until April 15.
The Biomimicry design is inspired by “the bioluminescent qualities of aquatic creatures found at incredible depths, and the scaly skin of fish and reptiles found across the globe.” The suit has segmented pleats for movement and electroluminescent wire across the torso, which lights up in low light.
The “Technology” design has Luminex wire and light-emitting patches to help crew members spot each other. The suit has collapsing pleats for added mobility and abrasion-resistant panels.
The “Trends in Society” design is inspired by streetwear, or, as NASA puts it: what every day clothes may look like in the not too distant future.”
This suit also features electroluminescent wire, gore pleats a bright color scheme and contrast stitching.
You can find more images and more information on voting for your favorite here.
More than 200,000 people have voted already and some have even submitted their own designs. There are instructions for submitting your own design on the site, as well. NASA says it will publish a few of their favorite submitted sketches after the official Z-2 design has been chosen.