Help NASA decide between three spacesuits designed by PhilaU students

 The three Philadelphia University spacesuit designs (L-R): 'Biomimicry,' 'Technology' and 'Trends in Society.' (Images courtesy of NASA)

The three Philadelphia University spacesuit designs (L-R): 'Biomimicry,' 'Technology' and 'Trends in Society.' (Images courtesy of NASA)

Want to help the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) choose between three locally designed “next-generation spacesuits” that could soon approach “a final flight-capable design”?

It’s as easy as visiting the NASA’s website before 11:59 p.m. next Tuesday.

Aiming “to make a suit with a look unlike any suit ever built before,” the trio of NASA “Z-series” spacesuit submissions, created by fashion-design and engineering students at Philadelphia University, are called “Biomimicry,” “Technology” and “Trends in Society.”

“Biomimicry” draws inspiration from oceans, “Technology” pays homage to the past and future of space travel and “Trends in Society” incorporates the emerging world of wearable technologies, according to a Philadelphia University release about the ongoing poll which has drawn more than 200,000 votes to date.

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How it came to be

The ideas emerged from a four-month project last summer in which students and faculty worked with NASA and spacesuit manufacturer ILC Dover. Once the votes are counted, NASA will build the winning prototype.

“After the positive response to the Z-1 suit’s visual design we received, we wanted to take the opportunity to provide this new suit with an equally memorable appearance,” said a NASA release. “The cover layer of a prototype suit is important as it serves to protect the suit against abrasion and snags during the rigors of testing.

“With the Z-2, we’re looking forward to employing cover layer design elements never used in a spacesuit before. … The designs were created with the intent to protect the suit and to highlight certain mobility features to aid suit testing.”

You can vote for one of the three suits via NASA’s website.

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