NASA previously announced its partnership with Axiom Space in the design of sophisticated spacesuits for its Artemis crewed missions. On Wednesday (March 15), the commercial company revealed a prototype of the commercial spacesuits that Artemis astronauts will wear during future Artemis crewed moon landing missions.
Unlike Apollo spacesuits, Axiom Space embedded more futuristic technologies in these Artemis spacesuits to give astronauts extra abilities and protection while they explore our closest neighboring celestial body.
How Axiom Space Built this futuristic Prototype Spacesuits for Artemis Astronauts
Humans cannot explore space with just any clothes. Hence, space agencies have relied on building high-tech spacesuits for their crewed missions to space. During the Apollo Era more than 50 years ago, NASA relied on using the most available technologies to build high-tech spacesuits that Apollo astronauts wore for their moon landing missions.
However, with the most recent development and progress in technological advancement, NASA is hoping to give its Artemis Astronauts safer protection in space and on the lunar surface. In 2022, NASA contracted Axiom Space on a $228.5 million task under its $1.26 billion contract to design next-generation spacesuits that can support Artemis lunar missions.
After awarding Axiom Space with this contract, its engineers commenced with the task of building the best protective spacesuits for Artemis moon landing missions. Axiom Space engineers studied the xEMU suit and used the knowledge to develop these fascinating spacesuit prototypes presented today. xEMU is a sophisticated spacesuit built by NASA engineers at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Hoston.
The latest prototype spacesuit presented by Axiom Space is named Axiom Extravehicular Mobility Unit (AxEMU) spacesuit. It is built with greater flexibility, advanced protections, and extensive special tools that can enable Artemis Astronauts to meet the demand of the mission. Axiom engineers used several innovative technologies to make the AxEMU spacesuits sophisticated enough to enable Artemis astronauts to explore the lunar surface even more than Apollo astronauts did more than 50 years ago.
“We’re carrying on NASA’s legacy by designing an advanced spacesuit that will allow astronauts to operate safely and effectively on the moon,” Mike Suffredini, Axiom Space president and CEO, said in a statement. “Axiom Space’s Artemis III spacesuit will be ready to meet the complex challenges of the lunar south pole and help grow our understanding of the moon in order to enable a long-term presence there.”
For the cover layer designed by the costume designer for “For All Mankind.”, Axiom partnered with costume designer Esther Marquis from Apple TV+ to create a top-notch design.
How NASA Artemis Astronauts will Explore the Lunar Surface with this futuristic Spacesuit
NASA is hoping to send the first humans to the lunar surface in December 2025. However, these astronauts cannot explore the lunar surface without dressing in flexible and highly protective spacesuits. The newly designed Axiom Space spacesuit is just a prototype compared with the real spacesuits that the Artemis Astronauts will wear while exploring the moon.
Axiom revealed that the spacesuits which will be designed for the moonwalkers will have a white outer layer to reflect heat and give our astronauts great protection from extremely high temperatures in space. Axiom officials are confident that the AxEMU will offer NASA powerful commercially built human systems required to live and explore the moon in full. The company from the onset focused on designing highly advanced suits that can accommodate different crew members.
This implies that every Artemis Astronaut will have a special suit designed specifically to accommodate all their needs on the moon. NASA is hoping to send the first person of color and astronauts from partner nations (crew members from the ESA and JAXA) during its future Artemis missions scheduled to launch before the end of this decade.
NASA astronauts will wear these futuristic spacesuits for Artemis 3 and Artemis 4 space missions. This spacesuit revealed on Wednesday was designed specifically for moonwalking. This implies that we should be expecting to see Artemis Astronauts walking on the surface of the Lunar south pole in similar spacesuits.
How Axiom Space is Working to Get this spacesuit Ready Before 2025
The prototype revealed on Wednesday features Axiom’s brand colors of blue, orange, and black. The spacesuit also has the company’s logo and other innovative technologies which reveals its uniqueness from other existing spacesuits.
Axiom Space collaborated with a team of experts in developing the AxEMU spacesuits. These industry experts include Air-Lock Arrow Science and Technology, KBR, Paragon Space Development Corporation, A-P-T Research, David Clark Company, and Sophic Synergistics.
Axiom space is currently developing its futuristic space station and has successfully sent four astronauts to the International Space Station. However, this is Axiom’s first experience of building a pressurized spacesuit that will be used outside the Earth. Hence, the company is putting more effort to ensure that it succeeds with this project.
“Our expert team is ready to provide NASA with the next-generation spacesuit,” said Mark Greeley, Axiom Space’s extravehicular activity (EVA) program manager. “We carefully considered years of lessons learned by NASA and used that experience to build a spacesuit for the moon and our future Axiom Space customers.”
Axiom Space’s new spacesuit prototype was unique and has several advanced technologies that will make the moon landing mission possible in December 2025. What do you think about the futuristic design of this spacesuit?