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NASA to turn astronauts into fashionistas

Thursday, 27 March 2014 - 5:13pm IST | Agency: IANS

The next space suit for a NASA astronaut may resemble some Hollywood characters as the US space agency is all set to turn budding astronauts into cool dudes!

The space agency would decide the design of its latest space suits depending upon votes which resemble outer space creatures like the 'Troll' in "The Lord of the Rings," deep sea favourite the 'Angler' fish or perhaps a member of the 'Doctor Who' extraterrestrial race "Sontarans", said a NASA statement.

The US space agency has released three different models for the 'Z2' surface-specific planetary mobility suit - featuring futuristic design elements like electro-luminescent wire and abrasion resistant panels.

According to NASA's Johnson Space Center, online votes would choose the design of its latest space suits which look like nothing ever seen before on earth.

NASA plans to include "bright colour schemes to mimic the appearance of sportswear and the emerging world of wearable technologies".

The suits are confined to training use and are not made of space-safe material, providing only abrasion/snag protection and a cover for technical details.

"For a flight suit which is actually used for a spacewalk, the cover layer performs many other important functions such as micrometeorite, thermal and radiation protection," NASA added.

Astronauts train in the non-flight 'Z2' and its predecessor the 'Z1', conducting tests in NASA's vacuum chambers and in the neutral bouyancy lab - both of which simulate aspects of space walking.

Voting is open until midnight April 15 while a final suit is scheduled to be completed by November 2014.


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