A new spacesuit to be used during the Artemis mission unveiled by NASA. Courtesy of Axiom Space
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has unveiled a new spacesuit that astronauts will use when humanity returns to the moon. The new spacesuit is sized in a universal size so that at least 90% of men and women in the United States can wear it. It made it possible for more people to participate in the space.
On the 15th (local time) at the Johnson Space Center in Houston, USA, NASA unveiled a prototype of a space suit to be used in the ‘Artemis’ mission, a human return project to the moon. This is the first time since 1981 that NASA has introduced an entirely new space suit.
The name of the new spacesuit was developed by Axiom Space as the Extracranial Mobile Exploration Unit (xEMU). NASA has spacesuits for the International Space Station (ISS). However, this is a spacesuit developed in the 1970s. The moon rises to minus 250 degrees in the shade and up to 250 degrees in the sun, showing an extreme daily temperature difference. Spacesuits for the ISS are not suitable for maintaining such an extreme environment on the moon or walking on the lunar soil. Moreover, it is even more unsuitable for long stays on the moon.
The advanced space suit is made of a lighter and more flexible material compared to existing space suits. Current astronauts couldn’t squat down, but with the new spacesuit, it’s possible. It was considered that astronauts would have to investigate the geological features of the lunar surface and collect various data such as samples. It also weighs 55kg, which is 25kg lighter than the current space suit.
The advanced space suit used an insulating material that can withstand the cold of the moon’s south pole, which can go down to minus 210 degrees Celsius. A camera and light were mounted on the helmet. After wearing it, it can be used for 8 hours. However, to relieve menstruation, a diaper must be worn inside the spacesuit. It is identical to the current space suit.
The space suit he developed is designed to be worn by at least 90 percent of American men and women. Unlike the bulky and white spacesuits of the previous ones, the new ones are black with orange and blue stripes. For technical safety, the outer jacket is black, but the astronauts’ actual spacesuits are white. “The new spacesuit will open up opportunities for more people to explore the moon and conduct new scientific experiments,” said NASA Administrator Bill Nelson.