Thursday, December 20, 2012

NASA's Next-Generation Spacesuit Looks is Just LIKE Buzz Lightyear

If your kids didn't already want to be astronauts when they grow up -- just wait until they get a look at the Z-1.

It's NASA's next generation of spacesuit, and it bears more than a passing resemblance to the suit worn by Buzz Lightyear in Pixar's beloved Toy Story films.

The Z-1 Prototype Spacesuit and Portable Life Support System 2.0, produced for NASA by the David Clark Co., is white with fluorescent green stripes and features a large, hemispherical transparent dome helmet -- just like Lightyear's.

The Z-1 is a prototype, NASA stresses, and will be subject to further revisions before it's actually put into use by the agency in 2017 -- hopefully by which time the U.S. space program will be back in full swing.

And this isn't the only Buzz Lightyear/NASA crossover: Disney and NASA have joined forces to develop hands-on educational activities and exhibits centered around the character's fictional voyage to, and 450 days spent living inside, the International Space Station.

It's part of a program to increase kids' interest in space travel and the sciences.

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