How NASA Designed the Spacesuit for the Artemis III Mission | The race to return to the moon begins

The new spacesuits that the Artemis III crew will wear on the moon will be more flexible and more resistant. A prototype was presented this Wednesday that shows significant improvements over those used in the Apollo program. Artemis is the mission that is planned to return to the moon.

The crew of the Artemis III ship was created by the end of 2025, incl He will be the first astronaut to walk on the moonwill arrive at the satellite’s south pole, where “extreme” temperatures and “hostile” environmental conditions can be recorded, wearing 21st century suits designed and built by Axiom Space.

These new suits have more features and abilities.said Vanessa Wyche, director of NASA’s Johnson Space Center, during the unveiling and presentation of the lawsuit filed by the private, Texas-based company.

For her part, Lara Kearney, of NASA’s Extravehicular Activity and Human Surface Mobility Program, pointed out that the suit, although the prototype was presented on Wednesday It was black – the idea being white for thermal reasons – would allow more ‘mobility’ for astronauts.

“This is a service contract,” Kearney said, noting that “NASA has historically manufactured and owned space suits” used on missions, but in the case of the Artemis III Axiom It will supply the suits under a $228.5 million contract. He added that space uniforms must still pass tests that will measure aspects such as security and that will be carried out at the Johnson Space Center.

In turn, the head of Axiom Space Michael Suffredini, He emphasized that the suits are the result of a strategic alliance between the private company and NASA’s experience. “We are continuing NASA’s legacy by designing an advanced spacesuit that allows astronauts to operate safely and effectively on the moon,” Suffredini said in a statement, pledging that the Artemis III suit would be “ready to meet the complex challenges of the lunar south pole” and assist in the goal of a “long-term presence there.” .

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“Our work will open up opportunities for more people to explore and conduct science on the lunar surface and is a testament to American innovation.”NASA Administrator Bill Nelson said in a message on Twitter.

General equipment improvements

Gloves are an important part of the design.said Russell Ralston, deputy director of Extravehicular Activity at Axiom Space, while showing the prototype, which was worn by an engineer from the company.

Ralston explained that the engineers spent a lot of time designing the gloves, Thanks to innovative technologies, they will be able to handle a greater variety of tools.

Special effort also deserved the development of the spacesuit’s insulation layers, including gloves and boots, the latter another notable component of the suit. Reported by fashion designer Esther Marquis from For All Mankind on Apple TV+.

The Axiom suit is made up of “a set of layers,” and features a rear entrance where crew members will enter, as well as More joints in the legs and arms which provide greater flexibility compared to prostheses used 50 years ago During NASA’s Apollo program missions.

The helmet contains an array of lights and an HD video camera, while On the back of the astronauts, a life support system will be located where oxygen is stored.

The suit contains a host of technological innovations that could not, however, exclude an element unavoidable for the astronauts who wear it: diapers.

NASA seeks to establish a permanent presence on the moon through the Artemis programme. His first mission returned to Earth on December 11 after 25 days of travelthe time when the uncrewed Orion spacecraft circumnavigated the Moon.

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US Space Agency It plans to ship Artemis II in November 2024a mission that will follow the same path as its predecessor but with a crew, the same one that will be announced on April 3.

Lovell Loxley

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