NASA astronauts are about to get new clothes for out-of-plane missions. The space agency announced Wednesday (1) that it has selected Axiom Space and Collins Aerospace to be responsible for designing the new spacesuits, which will replace options that have been in use for 40 years.
It will be used on the International Space Station (ISS), in the Artemis program (a mission you will return to Send people to the moon) and even a possible trip to Mars. The goal is to have the first suits ready for use in the Artemis 3 mission, scheduled for 2025.
The companies were chosen based on several demands made by the space agency, such as the ease of mobility of the astronauts and the durability of the suits.
“Spacesuits have always been an issue with travel, and now they will become an essential piece,” notes Lindsey Aitchison, executive director of NASA’s Extravehicular Activity and Space Mobility Program.
at recent days , The International Space Station had to halt its spacewalk due to leakage problems, which could be a fatal accident with an astronaut during routine maintenance. NASA has used the same suits for at least 40 years.
Within the project, not only will the clothing be developed, but a complete support system for out-of-orbit pilots will also be developed. Vanessa Wiccy, Administrator of NASA’s Johnson Space Center said during an announcement period.
The term of the contract is until 2034. Before it closed, the companies had to pitch some design ideas. Partners will own the spacesuits and are encouraged to explore other non-NASA commercial applications.
The goal is that it is not only for use by the United States government, but could also be commercialized in other space exploration programmes.
NASA experts will set technical and safety standards for how the suits should be built. The companies selected should always comply with what is required.
All equipment will be produced in Houston, Texas, where the Johnson Space Center is located. It should weigh about 54 kilograms, according to preliminary forecasts. There is still no time frame for when they will be ready, nor is there yet a preview of the design.
The biggest expectation of using these new suits is Project Artemis. There will be several expeditions beyond Earth, with the third aiming to return humans to the Moon.
In this mission, there will be the landing of the first woman and first black person on the moon. Astronauts will spend weeks or months there. The idea is for these missions to become annual as of 2027.
Clothing should especially aid in navigation and communication with the control center on the ground. It will be a big test before NASA’s ultimate goal in the next few years, which is to get to Mars.
“We look forward to using these services for NASA’s continued presence in low Earth orbit and our next achievement of returning American astronauts to the lunar surface. We are confident that our collaboration with industry and benefiting from NASA’s experience gained over 60 years of space exploration will allow us to achieving these goals together,” added Mark Kerasech, associate deputy director of NASA’s Artemis Mission Development Division.
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