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NASA's New Z-2 Spacesuit

No, this isn’t some kind of ill-fated Buzz Lightyear-meets-TRON collaboration; this is NASA’s upcoming Z-2 spacesuit. Dubbed the Z-2 “Technology” prototype, the suit beat out two other mockups, garnering 63% of a public vote – 233,431 votes to be exact – to become the space agency’s primary suit for its astronauts for future trips to the moon and Mars. Primarily intended for greater mobility, the design is the first to incorporate electroluminescence and is marked by a hard composite coating meant to withstand minor impacts and both snags and abrasions. Clocking in at $4.4 million USD, the Z-2 – NASA’s second installment in its Z-series initiative to completely redesign its suits over the next three decades – is expected to begin testing this fall and will directly influence the functionality and aesthetic of the future Z-3.

Head on over to NASA’s official site for a full breakdown of the Z-2, while WIRED explains why we’ve yet to see the skintight suits promised by our favorite science fiction films.

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