Thursday, May 1, 2014

Time to put on your Space Pants!

NASA, apparently tired of their astronauts looking like the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man and Cobra Commander had a baby, has decided to redesign the classic space suit.
See? Classic.
Wow, Master Chief has
really let himself go.
The result is kind of unappealing. I realize that fashion isn't really the number one concern when designing the only thing that stands between squishy human-flesh and the airless, radiation bathed expanse of low orbit or the frigid wastes of Mars, but holy shit, I mean, look at it (see right). Look, I don't want to tell NASA how to do their job but...wait, no, that's a lie, I do want to tell NASA how to do their job, I'm just woefully under-qualified. But since you don't need a doctorate in space-science to write a blog, I'm going to go ahead and say that I wouldn't be caught dead floating lifelessly through the infinite void dressed in the unimaginatively named Z-2. 

Yeah, it's called the Z-2 and is matte grey because I guess that's someone's idea of future. It also features a vulnerable-looking, clear plastic bubble helmet which should afford our future astronauts an unobstructed view of whatever piece of fast moving debris is about to poke a hole in it. 
But hey, space is big, I mean, how much debris could there possibly-wah? Oh. Shit.
If you love dogs, don't read this.
NASA actually put the design up for a vote so we're all a little responsible for the next generation of explorers dressing like a cross between rejected Mass Effect character models and the Mondoshewan.* I suppose it was NASA's way of helping us all feel like we're involved in the space program. Of course, helping choose decorative design elements isn't exactly boldly going so much as it is passively offering inconsequential input. The public was involved in the decision making in the same way that Laika the Russian space dog was.

Didn't vote? Yeah, me neither, but then they only gave us three kind of shitty options to begin with. In many ways it was as much a design contest as it was a biting critique of American democracy. Bet you didn't know NASA was so subversive...
Vote for one of a limited field of mediocre choices?
Take that, two-party system!

*If that sentence made sense to you, congratulations. Give yourself a +5 to your nerd role, and then go outside or something. Get some air.

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