The Z-2: NASA’s Next Generation Space Suit

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Amy Ross leads NASA’s efforts in advanced pressure garment technology and is spearheading the first total redesign of astronaut outerwear in nearly 30 years.

Her latest creation, called the Z-2 Spacesuit, is a $4.4 million dollar planetary exploration suit designed for walking the surface of the Moon, Mars, and any other landforms a spacecraft can land on.

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The most conspicuous innovation is a rigid shell on the back, called the “Suitplate Interface Port”.

The port allows astronauts to enter and exit the outfit by docking with a vehicle, forgoing a trip through an airlock, and pulls double duty as the attachment point for the Portable Life Support System—the backpack that provides oxygen, thermal regulation, and other functions.

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This is a closer-to-the-present version of the farther-out designs coming out of MIT; the latter still suffer from issues of material technology that remain to be solved.

Amy Ross of NASA via Wired.

This entry was posted in Gadgets, Science by Heretic. Bookmark the permalink.

About Heretic

I design video games for a living, write fiction, political theory and poetry for personal amusement, and train regularly in Western European 16th century swordwork. On frequent occasion I have been known to hunt for and explore abandoned graveyards, train tunnels and other interesting places wherever I may find them, but there is absolutely no truth to the rumor that I am preparing to set off a zombie apocalypse. Nothing that will stand up in court, at least. I use paranthesis with distressing frequency, have a deep passion for history, anthropology and sociological theory, and really, really, really hate mayonnaise. But I wash my hands after the writing. Promise.

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