Outer space has always been a topic of interest for millions, and a mission to the moon especially more so. In space, moon suits are the height of fashion, and NASA announced what astronauts will be wearing when they step on the moon in the coming years. For the Artemis III Moon Surface Mission – when NASA sends the first astronauts, including the first woman, to explore near the moon – moonwalkers will wear spacesuits provided by Axiom Space called AxEMU.
“NASA’s partnership with Axiom is critical to landing astronauts on the Moon and continuing American leadership in space. Axiom’s next-generation spacesuits will not only enable the first woman to walk on the Moon, but they will also open opportunities for more people to explore and conduct science on the Moon than ever before,” said NASA administrator Bill Nelson.
Called the Axiom Extravehicular Mobility Unit, or AxEMU, the prototype developments and incorporates the latest technology, enhanced mobility, and added protection from hazards on the Moon. Black with orange in colour with blue highlights, the space suit redefines fashion in space. However, the prototype shown is not the actual suit. The actual suit will be white instead of dark, reflecting heat from sunlight instead of absorbing it. In addition, the current outer covering keeps the inner portions from being scuffed or damaged during ground testing. For the moon, the suit will have an outer insulation layer to protect the astronaut from extreme temperatures, radiation and dust. The AxEMU will also accommodate a wide range of motion and flexibility needed to explore more of the lunar landscape, and the suit will fit a broad range of crew members, accommodating at least 90 per cent of the US male and female population.
The new suit is NASA and Axiom Space’s first major spacesuit redesign in four decades and astronauts can easily squat and move around. The large clear bubble around the head provides wide visibility as well as lighting. It also has a mount for a high-definition camera. Astronauts will get into and out of the spacesuit via a hatch in the backside.
Axiom Space will continue to apply modern technological innovations in life support systems, pressure garments, and avionics. The company will test the suit in a spacelike environment prior to the mission. The mission is scheduled for 2025.