A Failed Prototype: The Hamster Ball Spacesuit

Space suits are insanely cool. Except this one. This prototype hamster ball suit was designed by engineers at John Hopkins and actually presented to NASA in 1964. The engineers claimed astronauts would be more mobile with this thing on.

I'm not kidding, this bubbleboy thing was real and it was called the Spherical Experiment #1 (SX-1):

The large, transparent sphere was designed to give astronauts the ultimate in mobility as they rambled on the lunar surface. The prototype even featured a mini airlock for transporting samples in and out of the sphere.

More seriously though, NOVA has gathered a sweet gallery of old school spacesuits from Project Mercury, Gemini and Apollo and the spacesuits ancestors dating back to 1918. A wonderful look at the history of space travel. [NOVA via Neatorama]