NASA Unveils New Spacesuits Astronauts Will Use On Upcoming Trips To The Moon
By Alexa Heah, 16 Mar 2023
Previously, NASA revealed its plan to send astronauts back to the Moon by 2024 may not pan out, given significant delays in the development of spacesuits. Over a year later, it appears the agency has overcome those difficulties as it recently unveiled its latest space apparel.
Designed by Houston-based Axiom Space, the black spacesuit, which bears orange and blue accents, comes with specialist features that will aid astronauts in conducting scientific experiments in orbit.
According to the BBC, this is the first time existing spacesuits worn by American astronauts have been fully redesigned since 1981. The suit has also made changes to better accommodate female astronauts, who often have been left out of the design process.
As per the agency, the Axiom Extravehicular Mobility Unit (AxEMU) features a greater range of motion and flexibility via stitched-in joints, which will no doubt be helpful when the astronauts move around to explore the lunar landscape.
In addition, the clear bubble helmet provides a wide range of visibility, including built-in lighting that will allow astronauts to have a better look at shadowed craters near the Moon’s south pole. There’s even a mount available within the headgear for a high-definition (HD) camera.
Before astronauts don the new outfits on the Moon, Axiom Space will test out the spacesuit in a spacelike environment to see how it holds up in similar conditions. NASA plans to have the updated look finalized for the Artemis III mission scheduled in 2025.
“NASA is leading the way in enabling a growing space economy by leveraging industry capabilities and NASA’s expertise to provide moonwalking services as safely, effectively, and efficiently as possible,” said Lara Kearney, Manager of NASA’s Extravehicular Activity and Human Surface Mobility program.
[via BBC and New York Times, images via Axiom Space]
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