From the movie: Secrets of NASA’s Next Spacesuit on the Moon and Mars

NASA is already developing new spacesuits that will be used in the new Artemis mission (NASA)

It has been more than 50 years since man landed on the moon. And NASA plans to return it in a A new mission called Artemis, who also strives to gain enough experience to make a leap Mars.

Artemis aims to establish a long-term and sustainable human presence on and around the lunar surface by the end of 2020. NASA believes the lessons and skills learned to make this happen will help For mankind’s next great leap: a manned mission to Marswhich the agency hopes to implement in the late 1930s or early 1940s.

In addition to A new rocket (SLS) and a new space capsule (Orion), US space agency experts are already planning all sides to take and return healthy and safe humans to these two destinations. And one of the main points of Upgrade is a spacesuit that provides vital protection for an astronaut to walk in other worlds.

The two space suits provided by NASA in 2019 as a preview of what's to come (NASA)
The two space suits provided by NASA in 2019 as a preview of what’s to come (NASA)

There are many characteristics that Container Look at their spacesuits to innovate and improve the experience of astronauts traveling beyond Earth’s atmosphere. Thus, everything points to three foci: Enhancing spacewalk experiments on the International Space Station; Make the perfect suit for future missions to the moon (Artemis) and Design the perfect protector who thinks of potential adventures to Mars.

NASA works with its own talents within its government organization and is always looking to increase expertise in commercial partners. That’s why this week NASA presented the two companies that will manufacture the spacesuits for its Artemis lunar program and future missions to the International Space Station (ISS, for its English acronym). These are Axiom Space and Collins Aerospace, which obtained access to a contract totaling $3.5 billion to supply spacesuits for future NASA missions through 2034. These two companies will focus primarily on the efficiency of the suits when the astronaut is outside the spacecraft; This means that what these new business partners will develop will essentially be a mechanism that shields from solar radiation.

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Both companies will have the opportunity to compete for missions as early as 2025, including a demonstration mission outside the International Space Station and Artemis’ first lunar landing during the Artemis 3 mission, scheduled for either 2025 or 2026.″, NASA officials announced during a press conference. “As spacesuit development progresses within companies, NASA will receive certification to ensure that our astronauts are prepared. Once the suits are ready, they will be used,” Vanessa Wichey, director of NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston, emphasized during the event that followed. . Infobae.

The new suits will be more flexible, comfortable and adjustable for all tasks needed to perform on the Moon and Mars (NASA)
The new suits will be more flexible, comfortable and adjustable for all tasks needed to perform on the Moon and Mars (NASA)

You will enjoy the Artemis mission through which NASA intends to return to the moon The latest spacesuit is called an expeditionary extravehicular mobility unit (xEMU) It was unveiled at a sneak peek in 2019. NASA officials said the next generation of spacesuits will be more flexible to fit a variety of body types, responding to criticism of the spacesuits worn by NASA astronauts at this time.

The current suits worn by astronauts on the International Space Station are restricted, and have not been updated in decades. It is not designed for long walks on the moon. The new suit has integrated channels through which water passes, regulating body temperature. The suits, both old and new, contain a water tank that also serves to get rid of the carbon dioxide expelled by the breathing person.

The big advantage of xEMU is its ability to house female astronauts and are smaller, compared to an Extra Vehicle Mobility Unit (EMU). The current generation is used by International Space Station crews during US spacewalks. NASA struggled to carry out its first female spacewalk in 2019 in part due to size issues, since the spacesuit was designed for a space shuttle program that was primarily made up of men.

The latest spacesuit is called the Expeditionary Mobility Unit (xEMU) (NASA)
The latest spacesuit is called the Expeditionary Mobility Unit (xEMU) (NASA)

These suits also have more flexibility so that the astronaut has two options for movement: one inside the suit and one in which he moves with the clothes.. “When the Apollo astronauts walked on the moon, they couldn’t bend over and pick up a rock,” said Mike Fink, NASA astronaut. The peculiarity that sets the Artemis suits apart from the rest is that they will be much lighter to facilitate the astronaut’s navigation on the Moon. Meanwhile, they will be more powerful to better protect the human inside the suit, because these will be tasks that require more time to use xEMU.

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The new suits will replace the agency’s extra-vehicular mobility units, of which two generations have been produced since 1983. For service on space shuttle missions and to the International Space Station. NASA claimed that the EMU was “getting old”. Case in point: Astronauts cannot use the space station’s EMUs for routine spacewalks at this time, due to a Mars spacesuit water leak that is still under investigation.

Artemis' second suit is a suit update
The second Artemis suit is an update of the iconic orange “pumpkin” suit that NASA astronauts began wearing in the 1980s (NASA)

The second Artemis suit is an update of the iconic orange “pumpkin” suit worn by NASA astronauts aboard the Space Shuttle from 1981 to 2011.. It’s called the Orion Crew Survival System, and astronauts will use it during launch into space and return to Earth. They are optimized for microgravity environments inside a spacecraft.

In parallel, NASA is working on an ambitious project of its own: 3D-printed spacesuits. His name is The Spacesuit Digital Thread. And theThe goal is for any astronaut to have a spacesuit that adapts to his or her body. It was designed by Bonnie Dunbar, a former NASA astronaut who has financial support from the same North American space agency.

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