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Nasa reveals a sneak peek at new space suits the first woman to walk on the moon will wear

A NEXT GENERATION space suit has been unveiled by Nasa for future ISS and Artemis missions.

The suits are being provided by Axiom Space, a private space infrastructure developer, in partnership with Collins Aerospace, an aerospace and defense products provider.

This handout illustration image, courtesy of Collins Aerospace, shows a person wearing Collins Aerospace's new astronaut suit.

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This handout illustration image, courtesy of Collins Aerospace, shows a person wearing Collins Aerospace’s new astronaut suit.Photo credit: AFP
NASA awarded contracts to two companies to develop the next generation of space suits for missions to the International Space Station and Artemis

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NASA awarded contracts to two companies to develop the next generation of space suits for missions to the International Space Station and ArtemisPhoto credit: AFP

Collins officials said they were aiming for a more modern and sporty vibe for the next-generation space clothing.

Cosmonaut clothing will also be designed to accommodate different body types — particularly women from the 5th percentile in height and men from the 95th percentile, Nasa said.

“When we get to the moon, we’re going to have our first person of color and our first woman who will be wearers and users of these suits in space,” Vanessa Wyche, director of NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston, said during the press conference.

In a separate press release in late May, Nasa called for the new suits to allow humans to “explore the lunar surface and unlock new spacewalks outside of the International Space Station.”

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They called this a “critical part in advancing human exploration of space and demonstrating continued American leadership.”

In total, NASA’s two contracts with Axiom and Collins Aerospace could be worth around $3.5 billion through 2034.

The space suits should be ready for testing on the International Space Station (ISS) in a few years.

go private

By deciding to work with Axiom and Collins, Nasa is once again looking to private space companies for task fulfillment.

For example, Axiom Space was chosen to build a commercial space station that would one day replace the ISS.

And Elon Musk’s SpaceX has transported Nasa crews to the ISS on several occasions.

“We have a number of customers who already want to spacewalk, and we had plans to build a suit as part of our program,” said Mike Suffredini, Axiom’s President and CEO.

“So it’s fantastic to have a partnership where we can benefit from NASA’s years of experience.”

A long way…

Nasa has been working on the spacesuit technology for the past 15 years and spent about $420 million on the project as of 2021, according to an official report.

The report found that the spacesuits on board the International Space Station “have exceeded their design lifespan by more than 25 years, requiring costly maintenance to keep astronauts safe.”

NASA’s current suits have been “the agency’s workhorse for 40 years” and have been worn on 169 spacewalks, said Dina Centella, NASA space station operations integration manager.

Centella added that “Obviously, space suit technology is obsolete by the age of 40, so we’d like to try new future technologies.”

Artemis Moon Mission

Launched by Nasa in December 2017, the Artemis program aims to return humans to the moon by 2025.

Two of the program’s short-term goals are to land the first woman and first colored person on the moon.

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Medium-term goals include building an international expedition team and a sustained human presence on the moon.

In the meantime, Artemis’ long-term goal is to extract lunar resources from the moon and eventually enable manned missions to Mars.

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https://www.the-sun.com/tech/5499274/nasa-first-woman-moon-space-suit/ Nasa reveals a sneak peek at new space suits the first woman to walk on the moon will wear

Chris Barrese

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