Check out the cool new designs for Europe's future spacesuits
While the European Space Agency isn't planning to build their own spacesuits anytime soon, they want to be ready. ESA recently had the Space Suit Design Competition, allowing the public to propose designs for future European extra-vehicular activity (EVA) suits.
The competition received 90 submissions and experts selected five winners. This first design, above, was created by Oussama Guarraz, focusing on "modernity, cutting-edge technology, innovation, and sustainability."
ESA invited all winners to an event and tour at the European Astronaut Center (EAC) near Cologne, Germany.
"I am convinced that the time will come in the next decades when an ESA astronaut will wear a European spacesuit to further explore the surfaces of moon and Mars," said Hervé Stevenin, Head of EVA and parabolic flight training at the EAC. "With this event at the European Astronaut Center, our imagination made one small step in this thrilling direction."
Competition encouraged the general public to imagine what a future European extra-vehicular activity (EVA) suit could look like. Each design was supposed to incorporate a few things: the extreme conditions spacewalk suits must withstand to protect our astronauts and a new type of a suit that would be instantly recognizable for future ESA astronauts.
There were a few "space suit must-haves" as seen in the image below, such as a backpack for a life support system, and a visor in the helmet. ESA said they wanted the designs to emphasize ESA's visual identity and branding rather than the technical detail, while maintaining realism. The competition was open to everyone interested in space and design.
A jury of exploration included ESA astronaut Matthias Maurer. The winners of the competition presented their ideas to EAC staff including ESA's astronaut candidates and visited the facilities where the future astronauts are currently receiving basic training.
In his proposal, Guarraz wrote, "The choice of color for our spacesuit focuses on a palette of bright and modern colors, including electric blue, bright white, and silver gray. We chose this combination of colors to convey a message of high technology and clarity. We also added geometric patterns on the spacesuit to create a unique texture, inspired by European art designs. These motifs add a touch of elegance and originality to the spacesuit while recalling the importance of art and culture in the European identity."
ESA said the jury is now working on merging elements from submitted ideas to create an ESA-branded spacesuit design. This design could, for instance, be used to produce replica suits for exhibitions or filmmakers, to educate and inspire people about space exploration and ESA activities in this domain.
"Maybe in the future, ESA will develop its own functional space suit, and this competition will have marked a first step on one of the paths ESA could take to develop its autonomous way to space," the space agency said.
Provided by Universe Today