NASA asks the public to choose its next spacesuit design
NASA asks the public to choose its next spacesuit design NASA asks the public to choose its next spacesuit design
mar 26, 2014

NASA asks the public to choose its next spacesuit design

NASA asks the public to choose its next spacesuit design
(above) option C: ‘trends in society’
all images courtesy of NASA





NASA is asking the public to participate in the selection of their latest space gear design, the Z-2: the newest prototype in its next-generation spacesuit platform, the Z-series. the space agency is asking people from across the world to vote between three potential prototypes, each possessing distinct memorable and functional attributes. take a look below at the candidates and their unique capabilities, and cast your vote here until april 15th, 2014.



the ‘trends in society’ proposal reflects what every day clothes may look like in a not too far away future. the suit design echos the appearance of sportswear in the emerging world of wearable technologies, adopting electroluminescent wire trim as a stylistic detail, and bringing in bits of bright color into the scheme. gore pleats with contrast stitching highlight mobility, while various graphic patches featured across chest and legs of the garment are woven onto the garment.

NASA asks the public to choose their next spacesuit design
‘trends in society’ proposal

NASA asks the public to choose their next spacesuit design
the design reflects what every day clothes may look like in a not too distant future

NASA asks the public to choose their next spacesuit design
electroluminescent wire trim glows in the dark





paying homage to space gear achievements of the past, ‘technology’ also incorporates subtle elements of future mechanical advancements. blue luminex wiring and light-emitting patches evolves the idea of spacewalking standards, by introducing a new way to identify crew members. the design includes electroluminescent wire and patches across the upper and lower torso, exposed rotating bearings, collapsing pleats for mobility, and abrasion resistant panels on the lower torso.

NASA asks the public to choose their next spacesuit design
the ‘technology’ candidate

NASA asks the public to choose their next spacesuit design
light-emitting patches provide a way for crew members to be easily identified

blue illumination is places as both a trim and a patch on the torso

NASA asks the public to choose their next spacesuit design
patches on the upper torso illuminate in the dark





drawing reference from the ocean — an environment which shares a similarity to the harshness of space — the ‘biomimicry’ design echos the bioluminescent qualities of aquatic creatures. these underwater animals can be found at incredible depths, some of earth’s toughest beings, which reflects in the solid, durable and powerful design. segmented pleats at the shoulder, elbow, hip and knee, and graphic electroluminescent wire across the upper torso add a distinctly ‘deep sea’ feeling.

NASA asks the public to choose their next spacesuit design
the ‘biomimicry’ design

the appearance mirrors the bioluminescent qualities of aquatic creatures

NASA asks the public to choose their next spacesuit design
wavy white trim acts as a stylistic detail

electroluminescent wire across the chest light up in dark spaces

  • I like the technology candidate overall. It emanates the essence of human beings in addition to peace, and an overall easy to recognize appearance. It’s a great icon.

    Evagraphics says:
  • Second design. And after this with can go and make Tron.

    what? says:
  • Well if an alien thinks he can understand who we are from a silly meaningless pattern on our suits, then he’ll guess right -we have become a shallow, facile species. Why don’t they just stick a whole load of sponsors’ logos on them and be done with it. Then they’ll understand us completely.
    And it needs a competition to get a decision made?

    mackenzie collins says:
  • Uninspiring. All of these look too TRON. In fact, why wouldnt they pull some inspiration from all the great spacesuit design we see in movies…wheres the competition?

    kamero says:
  • Happy man and swizzle sticks?? What the… I’m with Mackenzie here.

    alex says:
  • Bad idea! What on earth (pun intended) does the American public know about the design of a space suit? or design graphics for that matter. Like asking a realtor to design an iconic house! I think Mackenzie’s comment is right on 🙂

    Rich says:
  • Not to be picky about a space suit, but they kind of look like something that came straight out of a 90’s kids movie

    Bert Macklin says:
  • I agree. I don’tike the suit at all. The jacket is too short and what is with the “hump” ? I am sure there is a visual more appealing way.
    And is a astronout not allowed to take a look over their shoulder? they should start a competition to make a new suit design and not just the graphics.

    leoni van Montfoort says:
  • mackenzie collins- this doesn’t “need a competition”, the competition is to get the public excited and partially involved. Also, the imagery is not “for aliens” to see, it’s for people to see. To get them excited. Come on.

    Leoni, are you serious? Are you actually just casually providing criticism of the space suit to NASA? The options they’re asking the public to vote on are “just graphics” for a reason.

    The suit is designed by engineers who do know what they’re doing. It’s pretty darn likely that neither you nor I have the slightest clue how to evaluate the nature of the decisions they’re making- I think if you had such specialized training, you’d be working at NASA, on the design of a space suit.

    What is with the hump? I don’t know. I’m sure it’s more important than the notion of creating an aesthetically appealing profile. Is the jacket too short?? if it was important it would be longer, and if it was longer, maybe it would interfere with mobility.

    and the pinnacle of it all: no the astronaut is not allowed to look over their shoulder. Do you think astronauts on spacewalks in the current model of space suit can look over their shoulders? They cannot.
    This is pretty darn standard for spacewalk suits. There’s stuff, like oxygen tanks, and CO2 tanks, that need to be included. Could you put them elsewhere? Probably not, because if you could, and it were a good idea, I trust the engineers would have done it.

    The idea that you could have a competition to design something as complicated and technical as a space suit, something that needs to be able to safely house a human in the endless vacuum of space, is hilarious and distressing. I can’t conceive of an open competition to design a space suit producing anything of value, because I’ve met designers before.

    Aesthetics and image are important- that’s what we’re seeing here, using image to get the public interested- but they come a very, VERY distant second to functionality. There’s a lot of opportunity for a dialogue between engineering and aesthetics in our culture, but the unfeeling vacuum of space isn’t one of them.

    angry says:
  • The suits would be better with the addition of an over-sized codpiece for men, and angular pointy boobs for women.

    Tony says:

    Charmain Giuliani says:
  • buzz lightyear

    cabe says:
  • @angry. I agree with you. The “competition” is similar to buying a car. They allow you to pick out the color.

    nickdanger:pi says:
  • All very unappealing and I don’t think that the ugly shape is necessary.
    I agree that – we all get to vote on which ugly slug shaped suit we get to put marks on.
    Rather pathetic.
    The old ones look better.

    Ron Smith says:

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