NASA has hired two companies to design its future space suits
NASA revealed on June 1 that it had commissioned two private companies, Axiom Space and Collins Aerospace, to develop the next space suits for its astronauts. They will replace those used by astronauts for forty years. If all goes well, they should be worn on future trips to the moon in a few years.
NASA wants to change its clothes
Axiom Space and Collins Aerospace have been tasked with developing the next suit to be worn by astronauts. They will be used for future Artemis missions and spacewalks during their work on the International Space Station.
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Both companies are not unknown names in the aerospace industry. Axiom Space already offers private space travel. Michael Saffredini, Chairman and CEO of Axiom Space, is delighted.” It’s great for a partnership where you can take advantage of NASA’s years of experience and all the work they’ve done to advance the design to where it is today. We are happy to work with them as a commercial company to make a suite in the most economical way, so that we can both use it to meet our needs. “
As for Collins Aerospace, it is a historic company: it was behind the design of the suits used by the astronauts of the Apollo program during the first moon landings. The North Carolina-based company will work with two other big names in the space industry, ILC Dover and Oceaneering. ” We look forward to returning to the Moon and continuing our 50-year legacy of developing spacewalking suits for NASA. And it’s from the Apollo program to the International Space Station today explained Patty Stoll, ILC Dover’s President Space Systems.
The term of the contract extends till 2034. Their amount has not yet been disclosed, but the maximum limit of the project is 3.5 billion dollars.
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Each partner invested a portion of their money in the design of these new suits. They must meet technical requirements established by NASA experts. Axiom Space and Collins Aerospace will be responsible for the design, maintenance and certification of the spacesuits.
” Our business partners will help us achieve our human exploration goals said Mark Kirasich, deputy associate administrator for NASA’s Artemis Program Development Division. ” We look forward to NASA’s continued presence in low Earth orbit and to using these services for our next achievement: the return of American astronauts to the Moon. We are confident that our collaboration with industry, and leveraging NASA’s expertise gained over more than 60 years of space exploration, will enable us to achieve these goals together.. »
The costumes must be versatile and allow the astronauts to perform a variety of tasks in space, from landing on the moon to exiting orbit. Different criteria must be taken into account depending on the use case. It depends on the two companies whether they want to make a single combination model or offer two distinct models.
Axiom Space and Collins Aerospace plan to present a first model that will meet NASA experts’ expectations by 2025, the year the Artemis 3 mission is scheduled to land humans on the moon for the first time since 1972.