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.
I guess they’re saving the wrist-mounted laser for the Z-2 and the retractable wings for the Z-3. (more…)