Fancy modular space suit on the way

If astronauts are going back to the moon by 2020, they're going to need some fashionable new threads. Pictured here is a prototype of the most flexible space suit yet, featuring a modular configuration.

The suits will use two different torsos combined with the one set of flexible arms, legs, boots and a helmet. One of the torsos is more flexible, designed for launch, reentry and emergency operations. Another more rigid torso is designed for cavorting around the lunar (or Martian?) surface — it's decked out with life support and communications gear.

So far, it's looking good. An early prototype will start testing next week with a mockup of the Orion spacecraft, and the first real suit will be completed in September, with a goal of making its big debut in final frontier by 2015. Now, all we need to do is create a suitable vehicle in which this fancy outfit will fly.

Via Technology Review