The era of sleek, fashionable, science-fiction-inspired space suits hasn't quite arrived, but as NASA makes plans for manned missions to wrangle asteroids and visit Mars, the suits that will protect the human space explorers continue to be refined. Ready to make a "suit with a look unlike any suit ever built before," NASA's team of space suit engineers is letting the public vote on which of three designs will be made into a real-life prototype for the group to research.
This time around, the Z-2 suit has a decidedly sci-fi look, perhaps an homage to the technical milestones the designs achieve. This will be the first planetary suit tested in full vacuum pressure; to be developed with 3D human laser scans and 3D-printed hardware; and to use a suit-port concept, an alternative that could make planetary exploration easier for astronauts.
Here, a look at the three designs even us nonastronauts can vote on as the next space suit concept to go through the ringer in the NASA test labs. Voting goes through April 15!