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The New Spacesuit: NASA’s Astronauts vs. Buzz Lightyear

by on December 25, 2012


NASA recently unveiled a prototype spacesuit called, the Z-1, which is undergoing heavy testing right now, to be used by astronauts on deep-space missions. The new spacesuit is being developed to replace the twenty-year old model that was first pressed into service back in 1992. Everyone immediately noticed the similarity between the NASA’s idea and the character of Buzz Lightyear from Pixar’s Toy Story movies.

Z-1 is equipped with a backpack, a Portable Life Support System (PLSS) 2.0, there is a rear-entry space suit that can do pretty much anything the actual spaceship does, from removing carbon dioxide, supplying oxygen, and to protecting the astronaut from extreme cold or heat.

The Z-1 spacesuit also boasts improved bearings in the waist, hips, upper legs and ankles for greater freedom of movement, and new urethane-coated nylon and polyester layers to maintain pressure and control the suit from billowing.

The suit is made up of many hard elements on top of its fabric, but the suit becomes flexible when inflated. There is a hatch and life support pack on the back of the suit, where the hatch allows the astronaut to attach to the spacecraft, rover, etc. The suit also has urethane-coated nylon and polyester layers to “maintain pressure” and allows for greater flexibility in the limbs and torso.

With NASA having no concrete plans regarding sending humans back to the Moon or further afield to Mars, there’s no word on when or if ever this spacesuit will be pressed into service.

It is up to you to tell who is stealing whose spacesuit concept and which example seems better. Please let your thoughts below, in the comments.





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