On Wednesday, NASA displayed the first model of a brand-new spacesuit that astronauts will use on the Artemis III mission to explore the Moon. The more streamlined spacesuits, developed by Axiom Space, will take the place of the white, puffy, and cumbersome moon suits that Neil Armstrong and the other Apollo astronauts wore in the past.
NASA Artemis tweeted the image, writing, “@Axiom_Space revealed a spacesuit prototype that our @NASA_Astronauts plan to wear near the Moon’s South Pole on @NASA’s #Artemis III mission. The spacesuit will give lunar explorers extra mobility, protection, & the latest technology”, through its official Twitter handle.
.@Axiom_Space revealed a spacesuit prototype that our @NASA_Astronauts plan to wear near the Moon’s South Pole on @NASA’s #Artemis III mission.
The spacesuit will give lunar explorers extra mobility, protection, & the latest technology. Discover more: https://t.co/uxH21hkSjd pic.twitter.com/bqxcrwR6Y6
— NASA Artemis (@NASAArtemis) March 15, 2023
The Axiom Extravehicular Mobility Unit, or AxEMU, suit prototype is a sleek greyish black with traces of orange and blue, and it prominently displays the Axiom insignia. For thermal considerations, the real outfit will be white.
The suits will be more flexible, offer better protection from the hostile atmosphere of the moon, and come in a larger range of sizes. The redesigned helmet has better visibility, and the moonwalking-specific boots have insulation that is appropriate for the south pole of the moon.
The Artemis III mission, which is expected to make the program’s first moon landing in 2025, will use these upgraded suits.
“The spacesuit is the first to be specially made to accommodate a woman”, said Peggy Whitson, the director of human spaceflight at Axiom and a former NASA astronaut.
NASA Administrator Bill Nelson said in a statement, “NASA’s collaboration with Axiom is critical to landing astronauts on the Moon and maintaining American leadership in space. “Building on NASA’s years of research and expertise, Axiom’s next-generation spacesuits will not only allow the first woman to walk on the Moon but will also allow more people to explore and conduct science on the Moon than ever before”.
To advance long-term lunar exploration and scientific discovery, Artemis III will launch astronauts, including the first woman, to the Moon.