You can vote on NASA’s new spacesuit design

Posted at 12:51 PM, Apr 07, 2014
and last updated 2014-04-07 12:51:40-04

NASA is once again deep into developing a whole new spacesuit, and this time, you actually get to help decide the design.

Recently, online voting started on the new Z-2 spacesuit.

The new spacesuits are a direct improvement to the current prototype Z-1, which had a soft upper torso. The Z-2 is made of state-of-the-art hard composite and is also the first spacesuit to use 3-D laser scanning and 3-D printing.

Participants can choose between three design models.

The first option, “Biomimicry,” is inspired by the oceans of Earth and mimics some of the bioluminescent qualities of fish and reptiles. Its signature feature is electroluminescent wire that stretches across the upper torso and becomes visible in low light.

The second design is called “Technology” and uses Luminex wire and light-emitting patches that can help crew members easily identify each other on spacewalks.

The third option is called “Trends in Society,” and with a bright color scheme mimicking athletic training gear, it’s supposed to reflect what everyday clothes might look like in the future.

Voting ends for the Z-2 project April 15, and the winning design will be revealed by April 30. After that, NASA expects to have the suit completed by November and will immediately begin testing with it at the Johnson Space Center in Houston.

These tests will take place in vacuum chambers, a neutral buoyancy lab and a simulated Mars environment.

CNN Wire contributed to this post.