NASA apparently has aspirations to go to infinity and beyond, taking a page right out of Disney’s famous Toy Story movies. The agency’s next generation spacesuit prototype, dubbed Z-1, looks conspicuously similar to Buzz Lightyear’s famous white getup with complementary green trim. In all honesty, I expected an advanced deep space suit to look more… futuristic, Science Fiction, robotic. Not like something you’d pick up from an ad hoc Halloween costume store.
Although it doesn’t look particularly complex, the suit is actually pretty cutting-edge, and the first redesign in 20 years. Where previous space garb took over an hour to don, the Z-1 takes mere minutes. The suit itself is constructed with improved leg, ankle, hip, and waist bearings for more flexible movement, and the rear of the suit is equipped with a large backpack that can double as a hatch and attach itself to Rover-like vehicles.
In addition, the new design acts as its own airlock, so astronauts don’t need to spend time “Prebreathing,” which requires oxygen to ensure the suite is the same pressure as the spaceship wearers are in.
The Z-1 isn’t expected to be finalized for another few years, NASA said, and even then the agency isn’t sure where it’ll be used. Maybe on Mars? I know a few people who’d really like to test this out.