NASA just unveiled state-of-the-art spacesuits that will accommodate female astronauts in future missions to the moon.
The spacesuits will be used during the Artemis III mission when the first astronauts explore near the lunar South Pole, NASA explained in debuting the suits. The suits were provided by the Axiom Space company, which unveiled its first prototype on Wednesday at Space Center Houston in Texas.
All you need to know about NASA’s new spacesuits
“Building on NASA’s years of research and expertise, 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,” NASA Administrator Bill Nelson said in a statement. “Our partnership is investing in America, supporting America’s workers, and demonstrating another example of America’s technical ingenuity that will position NASA and the commercial space sector to compete – and win – in the 21st century.”
While the prototype was created with a dark grey cover material, the final version will likely be all-white “to help keep the astronauts safe and cool while working in the harsh environment of space.”
The Artemis III mission, which is currently planned for 2025, will mark the first time a woman and a person of colour land on the moon, according to NASA. It will also mark the first time humans return to the moon in more than 50 years and the first time humans explore the region near the lunar South Pole.
The spacesuit was developed using new technology along with astronaut feedback on comfort and manoeuvrability, and “will fit a broad range of crew members, accommodating at least 90 percent of the US male and female population.”
The Artemis III mission will follow two Artemis test missions, including the unmanned Artemis I, which launched from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida in November. That mission was originally supposed to launch in 2021 but was beset by a series of technical and weather issues.
Next, NASA will launch the Artemis II as the first crewed flight of its Space Launch System (SLS) rocket and Orion spacecraft.
This story first appeared on www.travelandleisure.com
Image Credit: Courtesy of Axiom Space
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