NASA is working on redesigning their space suits. The idea behind the latest redesign, currently called the Z-1, is to make something more flexible and easier to take on and off. The hope is that these suits will one day be attached to the outside of rovers, so astronauts can simply step into the suit as they’re exiting the rover to walk around Mars (or wherever). Look closely at the “backpack” and you’ll see it’s actually a hatch. The astronaut simply climbs through to put the suit on.
Apparently it was also someone’s idea to make them look exactly like Buzz Lightyear.
I guess they’re saving the wrist-mounted laser for the Z-2 and the retractable wings for the Z-3. (more…)
If you’re NASA, you should really be more careful about throwing around phrases like “one for the history books.” That’s the terminology John Grotzinger, head of the Curiosity rover mission to Mars, used in a recent interview. But he was light on other details, so, since wild speculation is human nature, people are trying to figure out what Curiosity could have dug out of the Martian dirt that can be called “historic.”
The specifics of this discovery are remaining secret until (most likely) a conference in early December, to give the scientists time to triple-check the results. But since one of the primary objectives of Curiosity is to see if the Red Planet has ever been capable of supporting simple organisms, it stands to reason that a discovery along those lines would be the sort of thing NASA was looking for.
So what could they have found in the analyzed soil samples? Large amounts of methane, an organic compound that’s usually produced by lifeforms?
Sure, that’s a reasonable assumption, but who wants to hear that? I prefer the unreasonable, thank you very much:
- a human skeleton
- the Holy Grail
- the Ark of the Covenant
- whatever those magic stones were in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom
- Amelia Earhart
- a dinosaur in a space suit (proving they didn’t go extinct, they just got tired of Earth)
- this photo: