Ever wondered what humans may wear each day when our species inevitably tries to live on the Moon? Me neither. But NASA is ready with a spacesuit that looks straight out of a sci-fi thriller — and relatively comfy.
NASA partnered with Axiom Space to create the spacesuits, which will get their first taste of intergalactic action during the planned Artemis III mission. During that mission, which commences in 2025, NASA hopes to partially colonize the south pole of the Moon.
Of course, they say the lunar surface is an unforgiving place. Temps can climb up to 130 degrees Fahrenheit, and drop as low as -334 degrees in dark craters. Axiom hopes the new spacesuit allows humans to spend more time on the Moon beyond just a few small steps for man.
“Axiom Space’s Artemis III spacesuit will be ready to meet the complex challenges of the lunar south pole. [It will] help grow our understanding of the Moon in order to enable a long-term presence there,” Axiom Space CEO Michael Suffredini said Wednesday.
Axiom released pictures of a suit reveal, but the company says the final product will feature a reflective white exterior, rather than the ‘AX’ branded black suit from the release.
The Artemis I mission sent the Orion spacecraft around the moon before successfully returning to Earth in December. Artemis II, which will act as the first crewed mission to orbit the moon, will hopefully launch in late 2024. And then Artemis III launches 2025.
“We’re carrying on NASA’s legacy by designing an advanced spacesuit that will allow astronauts to operate safely and effectively on the Moon,” Suffredini added.
The Artemis spacesuit is just one piece of a complex space travel puzzle
Speaking to the effectiveness of the Artemis I mission, which NASA scientists are still reviewing, NASA said the mission proved its ground systems needed for launch and recovery are ready to fly astronauts on missions to the moon.
“We’re learning as much as we possibly can from Artemis I to ensure we fully understand every aspect of our systems and feed those lessons learned into how we plan for and fly crewed missions,” Jim Free, NASA’s associate administrator for the Exploration Systems Development Mission Directorate, said in a statement. “Safely flying crew is our top priority for Artemis II.”
All analysis of the Space Launch Systems rocket’s flight suggests that the systems met and exceeded performance expectations. However, as with all space travel, some outliers arose.
According to NASA, the mobile launcher sustained more damage than initially expected from the 8.8 million pounds of thrust generated at liftoff. The heat shield also wore away “differently than expected” upon re-entry.