When humans return to the Moon for the first time in more than 50 years, they will wear updated spacesuits with greater flexibility and range of motion, expanded search functions, and better protection from the harsh lunar landscape.
The suits, built by Houston-based Axiom Space, will support Artemis lunar missions beginning with Artemis III, scheduled for launch in 2025. Artemis III will put humans on the moon’s south pole for the first time.
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Axiom, which won a $228.5 million mission order from NASA to produce the suits last year, unveiled the prototype on March 15 at the Space Center in Houston.
While the prototype suit shown at the press event had a striking dark look with blue and orange piping to hide proprietary elements, the final version of the Artemis suits will revert to the standard all-white look worn on previous NASA missions. The suits are white to reflect heat and protect the astronauts from the extremely high temperatures on the lunar surface in direct sunlight.
Here’s what the Axiom suit looks like compared to its more common predecessor, the Apollo/Skylab Extravehicular Mobility Unit, or EMU:
With an adjustable modular design of pieces attached to a rigid upper torso, the suit is designed to fit a range of body types and sizes.
Sources: Axiom Space, Smithsonian Institution
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