By Dean Murray
When humans return to the lunar surface for the first time in over 50 years as part of NASA’s Artemis III mission, they will be wearing Axiom Space’s next-generation spacesuit.
A prototype suit was unveiled Wednesday, March 15, by makers Axiom Space at Space Center Houston’s Moon 2 Mars Festival.
A full fleet of training versions – dubbed Axiom Extravehicular Mobility Unit (AxEMU) spacesuits – is to be delivered to NASA by late this summer.
Since a spacesuit worn on the Moon must be white to reflect heat and protect astronauts from extreme high temperatures, a cover layer is currently being used for display purposes only to conceal the suit’s proprietary design.
Axiom Space collaborated with costume designer Esther Marquis from the Apple TV+ series, “For All Mankind” to create this custom cover layer using the Axiom Space logo and brand colors.
“We’re carrying on NASA’s legacy by designing an advanced spacesuit that will allow astronauts to operate safely and effectively on the Moon,” said Michael T. Suffredini, Axiom Space president and CEO.
“Axiom Space’s Artemis III spacesuit will be ready to meet the complex challenges of the lunar south pole and help grow our understanding of the Moon in order to enable a long-term presence there.”
The spacesuit will provide astronauts with advanced capabilities for space exploration while providing NASA commercially developed human systems needed to access, live and work on and around the Moon.
The advanced spacesuit ensures astronauts are equipped with high-performing, robust equipment and is designed to accommodate a wide range of crew members.
“Our expert team is ready to provide NASA the next-generation spacesuit,” said Mark Greeley, Axiom Space, Extravehicular Activity (EVA) program manager.
“We carefully considered years of lessons learned by NASA and used that experience to build a spacesuit for the Moon and for our future Axiom Space customers.”
Axiom said: “Leveraging NASA’s Exploration Extravehicular Mobility Unit (xEMU) spacesuit design, the Axiom Space spacesuits are built to provide increased flexibility, greater protection to withstand the harsh environment and specialized tools to accomplish exploration needs and expand scientific opportunities. Using innovative technologies, the new spacesuit will enable exploration of more of the lunar surface than ever before.”
Through Artemis, NASA will land the first woman and the first person of color on the Moon, paving the way for a long-term, sustainable presence and serving as a gateway for future astronaut missions to Mars.
Artemis III is scheduled to land near the lunar south pole in 2025.
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