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New NASA Spacesuit Looks Like Buzz Lightyear's

Soulskill posted about 2 years ago | from the to-copyright-infringement-and-beyond dept.

NASA 81

SternisheFan sends this excerpt from Space.com: It might make the astronaut wearing it look like a real-life Buzz Lightyear, but a new prototype spacesuit that NASA just finished testing represents the first major overhaul in spacesuit technology since 1998. Flexible, white, and lime green accented, the suit — known as the Z-1 — 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. [Engineer Amy Ross] said, 'the shuttle EMU splits at the waist and you put pants on and you put the top on separately and they connect in the middle. Whereas with this suit, the subject crawls in through the back, and then we just shut the door.' Creating a back-entry suit solves a few of the problems spacewalkers often face during trips to the International Space Station. Using airlocks to depressurize is a time consuming, exhausting process. By using a back-entry design, the astronauts won't need to go through an airlock at all. The suit hooks up to the outside of the spacecraft using the "space port" opening, and the spacewalker simply climbs in and detaches."

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Seriously? Not news (3, Informative)

dywolf (2673597) | about 2 years ago | (#42359263)

Not new news anyway. This is like 6 months old.

...and a dupe (5, Informative)

dereference (875531) | about 2 years ago | (#42359333)

Re:...and a dupe (3, Funny)

cervesaebraciator (2352888) | about 2 years ago | (#42359429)

Maybe it's a scheme for the karma starved to pick through the comments in the July article and repost Score:5 comments.

Re:...and a dupe (4, Funny)

Sarten-X (1102295) | about 2 years ago | (#42359665)

56k modems in the US are/were limited by FCC regs to about 53k [lowendmac.com].

From this url [2fords.net]:

The chilling news came just days before U.S. Robotics shipped its x2 modems: the FCC won't let modems transfer data at a rate faster than 53 kbps. The legal snafu has to do with a long-standing FCC regulation known as Part 68, which was never intended to affect modems. The problem is that if you send too much power through the phone line, your conversation can get loud enough to creep into neighboring lines. This is called crosstalk, and Part 68 was meant to prevent it. But to reach 56 kbps, the new modems must send more power down the line.

I win, right?

Re:...and a dupe (1)

Zordak (123132) | about 2 years ago | (#42360587)

"(Score:5, Redundant)"

Why yes, I think you do win.

Re:Seriously? Not news (2)

afidel (530433) | about 2 years ago | (#42359585)

Older than that, anyone following the Surface Exploration Vehicle saw it over two years ago.

Re:Seriously? Not news (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42360901)

"One of the big differences is the rear-entry design"

I always liked suits that allow for convenient rear entry.

Andromeda Suit (2)

scifiai (2740685) | about 2 years ago | (#42359279)

Reminds me of the Wildfire bio suits from the 1971 version of The Andromeda Strain.

Re:Andromeda Suit (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42359505)

Same here. I just watched it earlier this week, so much better than the remake

Re:Andromeda Suit (0)

TheCarp (96830) | about 2 years ago | (#42362313)

Well thanks asshole. I can't even begin to express how comforting it was to not know there had been a remake. Why did you have to ruin my blissful ignorance?

Re:Andromeda Suit (1)

VortexCortex (1117377) | about 2 years ago | (#42363689)

Well thanks asshole. I can't even begin to express how comforting it was to not know there had been a remake. Why did you have to ruin my blissful ignorance?

Heh, damn I'm in the same boat. Well misery loves company, so: They made two Matrix movie sequels, and three Star Wars prequels (and Disney plans to make a bunch more). Lost in Space was remade too, oh, so was The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. Hmm, Oh! Battlestar Galactica rebooted, wasn't so bad except the latter half (oh, and who the hell was that BG prequel spinoff "Caprica" even for?). Not even Flash Gorden is sacred, (don't) see: 1980's remake. I'm sure you know about the Star Trek universe being completely forked due to Spock going back in time with that damn lava lamp shit, if not, you do now! Dr. Who never stops being re-remade. Do you recall Total Recall? Yup recalled. Terminator? Unterminated... Just when you think they're running out of classics to ruin, they go after "instant classics": Cowboy Bebop is rumored to have Keanu as Spike... Hopefully Firefly and Red Dwarf will stay under the radar for a while. I could go on for hours... but this one's a doozy: Somehow The X Files got a whole network as a remake: History Channel

Re:Andromeda Suit (1)

TheCarp (96830) | about 2 years ago | (#42364445)

No. I don't believe you. Its all lies.... and firefly wont be remade...it will... well... a second season is still possible right?

Re:Andromeda Suit (1)

scifiai (2740685) | about 2 years ago | (#42367189)

So you're obviously aware of the original and the remake, and all I was doing was being specific in my comment, so who's the asshole?

mud room (5, Insightful)

phrostie (121428) | about 2 years ago | (#42359297)

"The suit hooks up to the outside of the spacecraft using the "space port" open"

what always worried me about this is leaving the suits out exposed and then needing to trust them.
I hope they atleast use some form of a mud room. unpressurized, but not constantly exposed to radiation and micro metorites.

just my .2061 USD

Re:mud room (3, Informative)

DaveV1.0 (203135) | about 2 years ago | (#42359391)

If the suits are hooked up to the spacecraft as specified, it would be rather easy to test the integrity of the suits by inflating them to a specific pressure and waiting to see if the pressure drops. In fact, one could leave them inflated and if the pressure drops the access door won't open.

Re:mud room (5, Informative)

egcagrac0 (1410377) | about 2 years ago | (#42359751)

Yeah, but a mud room means less patching of holes in the suits, while still being able to do pressure tests.

Re:mud room (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42366909)

"AHHHH, the AE-35 unit has failed! Quick, go EVA and replace it before the noon transmission comes in!"

"Sorry, sir. The suits take 20 minutes to pressure test."

Re:mud room (1)

Dolphinzilla (199489) | about 2 years ago | (#42359423)

or they would be in the airlock itself and not actually exposed to space all the time -

Re:mud room (1)

egcagrac0 (1410377) | about 2 years ago | (#42359769)

The point of having a dockable suit is that you can avoid the airlock. Airlocks do lose breathing air with every cycle.

Re:mud room (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42359921)

The point of having a dockable suit is that you can avoid the airlock. Airlocks do lose breathing air with every cycle.

Whatever, have a door but don't move the air around and for gods sake, just don't call it an airlock!
Just close the outer door and let the space between the suit and the door remain unpressurized. See, no longer exposed to radiation and micro meteorites.

Re:mud room (1)

bondsbw (888959) | about 2 years ago | (#42359927)

Perhaps they can be left in an unpressurized airlock (which current spacecraft will still have, and perhaps future spacecraft as a backup system).

This of course assumes the inner door of the airlock is compatible with this suit's door.

Re:mud room (1)

asm2750 (1124425) | about 2 years ago | (#42360059)

Wouldn't you just use a vacuum pump to pump out most of the air in the airlock back into the ship before exposing it to the atmosphere/vacuum of another planet?

The real idea for this suit is so astronauts are not tracking in harmful dust (lunar dust is harmful to the lungs and equipment) and maybe the time to compress/decompress in an airlock.

Re:mud room (2)

compro01 (777531) | about 2 years ago | (#42360267)

Wouldn't you just use a vacuum pump to pump out most of the air in the airlock back into the ship before exposing it to the atmosphere/vacuum of another planet?

Most, yes, but not all. You still lose a little air every cycle, which needs to be replaced.

Re:mud room (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42361731)

I wonder how well a vacuum pump would work in micro-gravity. Normally the pump's intake would be near the "ground" to let gravity help assist.

Re:mud room (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42359497)

The last article on this kind of space suit said that was the plan.

Re:mud room (1)

dotHectate (975458) | about 2 years ago | (#42360003)

My concern is how difficult is it to accurately re-dock with the mounting/access ring when the stupid thing is behind you?

Re:mud room (3, Funny)

Joce640k (829181) | about 2 years ago | (#42360129)

Gee, I hope NASA thought of that! Maybe you should call them, just in case...

Re:mud room (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42365245)

That's funny because NASA has such a perfect track record.

No, wait ...

Re:mud room (1)

omnichad (1198475) | about 2 years ago | (#42360869)

If the tether is attached to this ring, then couldn't it just reel them in?

Re:mud room (1)

Pumpkin Tuna (1033058) | about 2 years ago | (#42360717)

The mud room will be mass that you just can't afford to boost. Besides, it's not like the suit will be out there forever. We're talking a short duration mission like an asteroid rendezvous or moon landings. What, a couple of days?

Re:mud room (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42368359)

The mud room will be mass that you just can't afford to boost. Besides, it's not like the suit will be out there forever. We're talking a short duration mission like an asteroid rendezvous or moon landings. What, a couple of days?

A lot longer if you are planning to go to mars

To infinity...... (5, Funny)

who_stole_my_kidneys (1956012) | about 2 years ago | (#42359325)

.....and [Censored by Disney due to copyright infringement]

Picture is wrong. (2)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | about 2 years ago | (#42359353)

1. Missing the backpack, which will add a lot of mass and volume and alter balance.

2. It isn't inflated. Spacesuits have a significent pressure inside, which makes moving in them something like trying to shape a balloon animal, or Stay Puft climbing a skyscraper. Even at low-pressure, enriched-oxygen any non-rigid suit is going to inflate.

Re:Picture is wrong. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42359631)

The backpack as stated in the article is still in development and not yet merged with this project. Not that I expect you to read the article.

"Although the Z-1 and the PLSS 2.0 aren't ready to be joined into one prototype yet, eventually they could combine to create an even more efficient space-traversing suit."

As for inflation, the 2nd picture is inflated. Can't you even scroll?

Re:Picture is wrong. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42366539)

No, they are developing a totally gay fanny pack...

No. (-1, Flamebait)

DaveV1.0 (203135) | about 2 years ago | (#42359375)

No. No, it doesn't it.

Re:No. (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42359577)

I noticed your sig and I have a theory.

Your posts are crap and you're getting modded down correctly. Judging by the quality of the post I'm replying to, I'd say I'm right.

Re:No. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42360137)

Downmod this fucking faggot. I disagree with his post.

Re:No. (3, Insightful)

steviesteveo12 (2755637) | about 2 years ago | (#42361049)

I have a mod stalker who is modding down my past comments and is too much of a cowardly pussy to admit it or face me.

You should test this theory by making another account.

Re:No. (1)

DaveV1.0 (203135) | about 2 years ago | (#42364735)

Seeing as simply stating "no, that space suit doesn't look like Buzz Lightyear" gets modded as flaimbait, I would say I have decent proof. But, as it happens I did just that and found that posting similar or even the same comment got different moderations.

Great... (3, Insightful)

Cid Highwind (9258) | about 2 years ago | (#42359405)

Now if only they had a man-rated spacecraft to put these "space ports" in. Somehow I don't think this is going to be retro-fittable to Soyuz.

Re:Great... (3, Informative)

afidel (530433) | about 2 years ago | (#42359627)

Dragon, it has not yet received NASA blessing for manned flight but that's mostly checkboxes. In fact due to the nature of the Falcon 9's Merlin engine it's probably safer than anything NASA has previously man rated. Remember that the Shuttle with a 1% mission failure profile was man rated.

Re:Great... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42360873)

Well the Russians have employed the back-hatch-entry Orlan suits from Soyuz before. The ability to depressurize the Soyuz orbital module for use as an airlock allows for fairly easy EVA operations. In that aspect they'll be better than at least the stock Dragon capsule configuration. Dragon needs to have option for a orbital module first Soyuz config.

Re:Great... (1)

FatLittleMonkey (1341387) | about a year ago | (#42367987)

These aren't intended for launch/reentry, hence they won't be used in manned capsules. They'll still use the standard recovery suits for that. [This applies to the comments about Dragon, above. It's likely that SpaceX would use a fairly conventional International Orange ACES-style recovery suit [wikipedia.org] . As will all the other Commercial Crew developers.]

These new suits are intended for long duration space vessels, such as the SEV or potentially the ISS if you launch a suitable adapter module for the external "docking" of these suits. I'm surprised that they haven't put out a RFP for a suit-dock module for ISS, it'd be a perfect place to test the new design over a long period. And it'd be another good project for fixed-cost multi-vendor development to increase the supplier base and better control project costs. And, seriously, what it the damn point of ISS if you're not using it to test long-duration mission hardware?

Back entry jokes... (0)

DiamondGeezer (872237) | about 2 years ago | (#42359451)

...in 5 4 3 2 1 ....

Re:Back entry jokes... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42359491)

If they are going back-entry, they won't need to recruit women for the missions. Except for making sandwiches.

Re:Back entry jokes... (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42360161)

A lot of us women actually enjoy back-entry, thank you very much.

Re:Back entry jokes... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42361031)

But men have a lot more nerve-endings in the back than women, so most men enjoy it more.

Re:Back entry jokes... (1)

FatLittleMonkey (1341387) | about a year ago | (#42368013)

It's the repetitive stimulation of the prostate gland that gives pleasure to the receiver. It's likely that women who enjoy anal sex have some kind of vestigial nerve cluster in the same area. "Squirters", I believe, have such a pseudo-prostate.

The rest is psychological, obviously.

Re:Back entry jokes... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42359601)

I don't know about jokes, but the article is down. Did anyone get the full text? I only got the following paragraph before I was cut off:

Well actually I'm too tired to troll. Trolling is hard work. HARD like Taco's penis in Soulskill's backside.

Re:Back entry jokes... (1)

gagol (583737) | about 2 years ago | (#42360011)

When slashdotted, use a cache copy. In chromium, add cache: at start of the url.

Re:Back entry jokes... (2)

SternisheFan (2529412) | about 2 years ago | (#42360533)

Hardly (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42359477)

Apart from the chartreuse accent colors, I don't see the similarity.

Re:Hardly (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42359525)

It's supposed to draw in the idiots who think they are nerds. Idiocracy is becoming more a reality every day.

Re:Hardly (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42360073)

Concur. It looks nothing like Buzz Lightyear's suit.

Not news, and they didn't address the main problem (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42359507)

The biggest problem with a space suit is not how to get into it.

The problem that needs solving is how to make a simple, practical zero force bending joint for knees, elbows, and especially fingers.

If they could fix that and it took an extra hour to get into, it would be waaaay worth it.

Re:Not news, and they didn't address the main prob (1)

courteaudotbiz (1191083) | about 2 years ago | (#42360125)

The biggest problem with a space suit is not how to get into it.

In fact, the main problem is having a ship to put around it...

Saw it at the movies (1)

bmuon (1814306) | about 2 years ago | (#42359509)

Wasn't there a movie in which space suits were exactly like this? I can't remember which.

Re:Saw it at the movies (2)

olsmeister (1488789) | about 2 years ago | (#42359573)

Better hope not. Cue MPAA lawsuit against NASA ... hilarity ensues.

Re:Saw it at the movies (2)

AlphaFreak (646767) | about 2 years ago | (#42359663)

Perhaps you saw it in a documentary. That's the way the Orlan (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Orlan_space_suit) russian space suits work (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:OrlanDonning.jpg)

space.com humor... (1)

msauve (701917) | about 2 years ago | (#42359545)

Pun alert:

"Using airlocks to depressurize is a time consuming, exhausting process."

To Infinity and Beyond! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42359579)

Barack Obama's never-ending spending.

oh I get it (1)

slashmydots (2189826) | about 2 years ago | (#42359619)

I see the Metro interface designers are pursuing other design ventures.

These guys tend to thing about everything... (4, Interesting)

egcagrac0 (1410377) | about 2 years ago | (#42359827)

Any word on the purpose of the lime green accents?

Re:These guys tend to thing about everything... (4, Funny)

slashmydots (2189826) | about 2 years ago | (#42359883)

From NASA: "It's to fend off alien predators by confusing them and making it hard to focus their eyes on the suit."

Re:These guys tend to thing about everything... (1)

ByteSlicer (735276) | about 2 years ago | (#42363675)

They're race stripes and obviously make the suit move faster.

Re:These guys tend to thing about everything... (1)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | about 2 years ago | (#42365535)


Any word on the purpose of the lime green accents?

well, that's the color at about peak sensitivity of human vision. Maybe it helps people see the astronaut that's starting to float away.

Or because Buzz Lightyear's costume had it, if you want to go with TFH.

Exploring planets? (1)

Grizzley9 (1407005) | about 2 years ago | (#42359869)

The Z-1 spacesuit will potentially be used to explore different planets.

The last suit redesign was just in '98. I don't know of any upcoming plans for planet exploration. By that time there will be many more iterations of design/improvements/new materials. This is not even potentially first mission until '15 at the earliest.

/not the Christmas present I wanted NASA and what about this big announcement you were to make a couple weeks ago?

GI Joe (1)

WoodburyMan (1288090) | about 2 years ago | (#42359903)

PPpppst! Are you Buzz Lightyear? I LOVE your movies! Mmmpphmpphmpphmpmhmhmh!!!

Hollywood (3, Funny)

Richy_T (111409) | about 2 years ago | (#42360599)

If they're going with Hollywood inspiration, the helmets need to have lights that shine directly into the face of the wearer. You know it makes sense.

But does it have wings? (1)

guttentag (313541) | about 2 years ago | (#42360625)

Does it fall with style? Will Disney scribble its name on the underside of the feet in permanent ink? Does it have a laser, or just a little light that blinks?

Main difference... (5, Funny)

Richy_T (111409) | about 2 years ago | (#42360685)

When you pull the string, instead of saying "To Infinity and Beyond", it says "To the moon and that's enough for another 40 years or more"

Obligatory Oatmeal!!!!? (1)

invient (1905274) | about 2 years ago | (#42360927)

http://theoatmeal.com/comics/angler [theoatmeal.com] Why did this article remind me of this, I have no idea...

All dressed up... (2)

judoguy (534886) | about 2 years ago | (#42361371)

and no place to go.

I want a big spacesuit (2)

Spy Handler (822350) | about 2 years ago | (#42361687)

the upper torso area should be bigger than this, and the tube from shoulders down to the elbows should be of a larger diameter.

That way, you will be able to pull your arms into the torso area and use your hand to access the inside of the suit.

What's the advantage? You can scratch your face or your back. This is very important! Going for long periods without the ability to scratch an itch is very demoralizing psychologically. Plus by having access to your face, you can wipe away tears, blow your nose, and do many other things.

Another plus is in the event of a puncture. With current spacesuits, you're pretty much toast. With the big suit, you can put a finger on the puncture from the inside. This will allow you to hold pressure almost indefinitely.

Re:I want a big spacesuit (1)

craigminah (1885846) | about 2 years ago | (#42362853)

As long as you have room to kiss your ass goodbye in the event of a suit failure they can't complain. Is anyone worried about that big-honking fishbowl the astronaut's head is in and the possibility of something that rigid breaking? Picture the scene from Total Recall (the original w/ Arnold) where his face shield broke falling down the ledge on Mars.

Rear entry (1)

maroberts (15852) | about 2 years ago | (#42361799)

...as recommended by our consultants on this project Goatse Enterprises.

stretching the meme... (1)

greywire (78262) | about 2 years ago | (#42362893)

I for one welcome our back entry... aww never mind.

Another soft suit (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | about a year ago | (#42368101)

Where are the hardsuits? The seals are still too hard to make work reliably?

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