Science and Tech


NASA Goes With 'Tron-Like' Design For Next Spacesuit

With 60 percent of the public's vote, NASA's next spacesuit will be one that features electroluminescent wiring and looks a whole lot like the movie.
Posted at 10:50 AM, May 01, 2014

It's time for Tron. NASA has announced the results of a public vote for its next-generation spacesuit design.

With more than 60 percent of 200,000 votes, the "Technology" option won. NASA says it's "laser-focused" on heading to Mars and that this new Z-series of spacesuits will help determine what astronauts will live and work in on the Martian planet one day.

But of course, what's hard to ignore is that this suit looks like the get-ups from the "Tron" movies, which we're guessing played a part in that public vote. (Via Walt Disney Pictures / "Tron: Legacy")

As NASA explains, these suits will feature electroluminescent wiring never before used in a spacesuit. 

The options that didn't make the cut — shown at center and right here — were called "Biomimicry" and "Trends in Society." 

As Ars Technica explains, one cool thing about these suits is they aren't really suits at all. Astronauts will crawl into them through an airlock instead of suiting up. The suits are kind of like spaceships themselves.

The suit won't be ready until November. It'll need to undergo testing in vacuum chambers and in indoor pools. And this version of the suit is the Z-2; there could still be more prototypes and versions before we head to Mars.

And a spokesperson for NASA told NBC they're happy to have the comparisons to "Tron." "​We're always going to find those parallels between science fiction and reality. ... I'm all for it."

Now if we could only get Jeff Bridges into space. We're all for that. (Via Flickr / Nellies78)