NASA and Axiom Space unveil new spacesuit for Artemis III moon mission
NASA and Houston-based aerospace company Axiom Space gave CBS News an early look at the spacesuits the astronauts will wear. The Artemis III mission – Return of Astronauts to the Moon The first lunar landing of the NASA program. The suit is being officially unveiled at an event in Houston on Wednesday.
Russell Ralston, deputy program manager for EVA at Axiom Space, said the new suits are designed to be more mobile, compared to the bulky and flexible Apollo suits that caused astronauts to fall over during moonwalks.
“This suit will be very easy to walk on or do a lot of the things that they did in Apollo, and more, but do it in a little simpler way,” Ralston said.
The redesign of the spacesuit covers everything from top to bottom. The new helmet offers better visibility, and the boots are especially so. Designed for lunar exploration.Complete with thermal insulation suitable for the Moon’s South Pole.
To prepare the suit for the 2025 landing, Axiom Space and NASA will repair and evaluate the suit through testing at the Johnson Space Center’s Neutral Buoyancy Lab in Houston, where a 40-foot-deep pool is placed on the moon. has changed. Landscape.
“It’s going to give us a really good indication of how mobile the suit is and what kind of fatigue, if any, the crew members have after six or seven hours of work,” said Laura Kearney, who oversees the program at NASA. must be feeling,” said Lara Kearney and ensures that Axiom meets the requirements.
Ralston said the final suits are close to the final version with one key difference: color. The outer layer for the mission will be white and made of Mylar and Kevlar, which will carry the astronauts to a part of the moon that has craters in some of the coldest temperatures in the solar system.
“Going into a permanently shadowed region on the moon is something that’s never been done before,” Ralston said.
NASA outsourced the project to Axiom 15 years after developing its next-generation moon suit. The company adapted more than half of NASA’s original design.
According to Peggy Whitson, director of human spaceflight at Axiom and a former NASA astronaut who has spent more time in space than any other American, the spacesuit is the first designed specifically to fit a woman. has gone
21st-century spacesuits are designed using advanced technology, such as laser cutters that precisely cut different fabrics and 3-D printers that create components, resulting in cost and time savings. Is. However, some components are still assembled using traditional sewing machines.
In space, dressing for success is a matter of survival.
“I go to church with the astronauts. We see them when we’re getting groceries. We know their kids,” Ralston said. “The life of the product you’re building depends on it. So, it’s something we take very seriously.”