This is it. This Tron-inspired design will be NASA's next generation spacesuit—the first that actually looks from the future and not a variation of the original 1960s suits from the Apollo program. With its glass 360-degree view and integrated Heads Up Display ready to detect xenomorphs, it would look right at home in any sci-fi movie.

The suit will start testing in November 2014. According to NASA, "with 233,431 votes, the "Technology" [they mean TRON, but I guess they don't want Disney to sue—JD] option has won NASA's Z-2 Spacesuit design challenge with just over 63% of the total vote."

There are many key advances to be found in the Z-2 suit when compared to the previous Z-1. The most significant is that the Z-1 had a soft upper torso and the Z-2 has a hard composite upper torso. This composite hard upper torso provides the much-needed long-term durability that a planetary Extravehicular Activity (EVA) suit will require. The shoulder and hip joints differ significantly based on extensive evaluations performed during the last two years with the Z-1 to look at different ways of optimizing mobility of these complex joints. Lastly, the boots are much closer in nature to those that would be found on a suit ready for space, and the materials used on the Z-2 are compatible with a full-vacuum environment.

These are the three designs that people voted. Clearly, the Tron one wins.


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