I'd Crap The Hell Out Of That: NASA's New Spacesuit
Who wears shorts over pants?
This is a shot of NASA's next generation spacesuit, the Z-1. No word if it has a zipper fly for an alien quickie in the spacebar bathroom, but an astronaut can dream, can't he? "You're not an astronaut." ONLY BECAUSE OF NASA'S STUPID WEIGHT RESTRICTIONS. The highlights:
Astronauts step into the full suit through the back port. This port will mate with the spacecraft, enabling an astronaut to enter the suit from inside the craft for extravehicular activity. Another advantage: When used in low to no atmosphere, the port conserves more air than a conventional air lock.
The Z-1 has bearings at the waist, hips, upper legs, and ankles to allow an astronaut greater mobility--essential for retrieving soil and rock samples in tough terrain.
This provisional outer covering conceals a heavily engineered inner suit; a layer of urethane-coated nylon retains air, and a polyester layer allows the suit to hold its shape.
First of all, there's not gonna be any "stepping into the full suit through the back port." That hole doesn't look nearly big enough. One time at the circus I saw a contortionist fit into a two-foot square box, and I couldn't stop thinking about how easy it would be to sneak him on a plane in a suitcase and not have to pay for a seat. Also, what's the word on the ventilation system in these things? Because space food makes me gassy, and if I have to smell it, I'll probably puke. Not exactly the situation you want to be in when you're making first contact. HELLO, I AM FROM EARTH. WE COME IN -- oh no *squeak, BLAAAAH!* Did you hear that, NASA? I talked to aliens! "Yep, they're nuking the planet even as we speak." Woopsie doopsie.
Thanks to Nadine, who puts on her spacesuit the way all astronauts do: both legs at the same time.