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NASA designs special suits for men on Mars mission


Washington, May 1

With the focus being shifted to a manned mission for Mars in near future, NASA is developing technologies astronauts one day will use to live and work with on the red planet.

Nasa Z-2 Space Suits
Nasa Z-2 Space Suits

The space agency has now zeroed in on the design that will be incorporated into the final version of the ‘Z-2’ suit that is expected to be ready for testing by November 2014.

The ‘Z-2’ suit is the newest prototype in its next-generation spacesuit platform, the Z-series.

“Each iteration of the Z-series will advance new technologies that one day will be used in a suit worn by the first humans to step foot on the red planet,” the space agency said in a statement.

There are many key advances to be found in the ‘Z-2’ suit when compared to the previous Z suite.

The most significant is that the ‘Z-1’ had a soft upper torso and the ‘Z-2’ has a hard composite upper torso.

This composite hard upper torso provides the much-needed long-term durability that a planetary Extravehicular Activity (EVA) suit will require.

The shoulder and hip joints differ significantly based on extensive evaluations performed during the last two years with the ‘Z-1’ to look at different ways of optimising mobility of these complex joints, NASA explained.

Lastly, the boots are much closer in nature to those that would be found on a suit ready for space, and the materials used on the ‘Z-2’ are compatible with a full-vacuum environment.