NASA developed its last major prototype ‘spacesuit’ in 1992. Since then NASA hasn’t made any new prototype of spacesuit till to date. But now NASA is designing a prototype spacesuit called Z-1, which NASA plans to use possibly after 2015 missions. The interesting thing about this prototype spacesuit Z-1 is it has vast resemblance to the dress (spacesuit) of a cartoon hero named Buzz Lightyear in “Toy Story.”
Z-1 spacesuit is not an ordinary spacesuit. The spacesuit offers enhanced mobility for space walks on the Moon as well as on the red planet, Mars. Have a close look of prototype spacesuit, Z-1.
The new prototype suit Z-1 is extremely flexible, but a bit heavy. While current suit models weigh around 100 pounds (45 kilograms), Z-1 clocks weighs 158 pounds (72 kg). The prototype’s neon green stripes resemble space ranger Buzz Lightyear’s outfit. However, there is a major innovation in the Z-1 is its large rear-entry hatch which won’t be found in today’s spacesuit that the astronauts wear, which future astronauts will be able to use for expediently enter and exit the suit. An inner hatch cover and portable life support system (PLSS) are removed for access to the suit. That’s why’ Carbon dioxide (CO2) will be continuously removed from breathing air, ending the need for canisters of CO2-absorbing lithium hydroxide. Here’s a video for you.
Besides, bearings in Z-1 suit’s joints will give future astronauts the flexibility to hop over lunar or martian soil with more grace than the explorers who wore older NASA exo-suits. The more important thing is the suit port (rear-entry hatch) arrangement allows astronauts to slide directly into a spacesuit from within a vehicle. That means the suit port can be used to dock the suit to the side of a shuttle or space station, bypassing the need for an airlock. But the basic technology remains the same like current spacesuit.
Now NASA is busy in making Z-1 prototype suit. But it plans to make newer versions of Z-1, the Z-2 and Z-3. It is expected that, NASA will use Z-1 spacesuit sometime in 2015.
Thanks To: Yahoo, Daily Mail