NASA is putting the future of space fashion into the hands of the public.
NASA is putting the future of space fashion into the hands of the public. The design for NASA's newest spacesuit, the Z-2, has been put up for a vote. Members of the public can choose from three different designs and vote for their favorite online until April 15. "After the positive response to the Z-1 suit's visual design we received, we wanted to take the opportunity to provide this new suit with an equally memorable appearance," a statement on NASA's website reads. "The cover layer of a prototype suit is important as it serves to protect the suit against abrasion and snags during the rigors of testing. With the Z-2, we're looking forward to employing cover layer design elements never used in a spacesuit before." The winning design will be built by NASA to use in its testing. The suit is expected to be completed by November. The Z-2 is the second in NASA's Z-series of prototype spacesuits. NASA said the Z-2 marks several milestones for spacesuit technology - it will be the first surface-specific planetary mobility suit to be tested in full vacuum and it features the most advanced use of impact resistant composite structures on the torso. "We haven't had to design a spacesuit to operate in a surface environment since we went to the moon," NASA spokesman Daniel Huot told NBC. "As you can imagine, a lot of things have changed, and this is going to incorporate the features that astronauts are going to be wearing when we go to Mars." Photos and descriptions of each design can be found on the website. The three options have been named the "Biomimicry," which was inspired by the world's oceans, the "Technology," which is supposed to reflect spacesuit history, and the "Trends in Society," which is based on the designer's vision of what everyday clothes may be like in the near future. Those hoping their favorite design will end up on Mars may be disappointed - the function of the outer layer of the spacesuit is different during the testing period on Earth than it will be in space, so when the suits make it off of this planet, the outer layer will need to be different in order to best protect astronauts. However, the winning design will still have its place in history for its role in the development of spacesuit technology and fashion.%3Cimg%20src%3D%22http%3A//beacon.deseretconnect.com/beacon.gif%3Fcid%3D156967%26pid%3D46%22%20/%3E