NASA developed new next-generation spacesuit called Z-1 Prototype Spacesuit and Portable Life Support System (PLSS) 2.0 is designed not only to help astronauts comfortably maneuver during spacewalks in microgravity, but also to deftly move about when walking on the surface of a planet or other smaller heavenly body, like an asteroid.
The new Z-1 prototype suit bears resemblance to the costume worn by Toy Story animated film character Buzz Lightyear.
The spacesuits used by NASA at present were designed in 1992 and were fabricated especially for the crews that boarded space shuttle task force as well as spent time in International Space Station (ISS).
Perhaps most significant, the suit features a rear-entry system with a hatch in back that can latch onto another spaceship, rover, or habitat, Gizmag reports. That suggests astronauts could enter and exit the suit without having to go through an airlock, which takes time and wastes air.
There will be better bearings on the legs, ankles, hips and waist to help astronauts move more naturally whilst a urethane-coated nylon and polyester layers control the pressure more efficiently.
New technology will also create more efficient cooling and will get rid of carbon dioxide more easily. Currently certain components have to be baked between missions to get rid of it.
The new prototype spacesuit is extremely flexible, but a bit heavy. Current suit models weigh around 100 pounds, but the Z-1 weighs 158 pounds. NASA plans to hand out the new suit to its astronauts within the next couple of years.