On Wednesday, September 7, NASA announced that it has contracted Axiom Space to build spacesuits for Astronauts that will participate in Artemis 3 moon landing mission. The goal of NASA under the Artemis 3 mission is to land astronauts close to the lunar south pole in either 2025 or 2026. But why did NASA choose Axiom Space suit for this Project? What’s next for the Artemis Space Missions? Continue reading to learn more.
Why NASA choose Axiom Space to Design Axiom Space suit for the First Artemis Moonwalkers
During the Apollo Space program, NASA contracted ILC Dover aerospace company to make spacesuits for its moonwalkers. NASA astronauts used these spacesuits to explore the lunar surface starting from Astronaut Neil Armstrong in 1969 to Astronaut Eugene Andrew Cernan, who became the last man to leave the lunar surface in 1972.
Since 1972, no human has ever set foot on the moon again. However, NASA commenced with its Artemis Space Programs to return humanity to the moon under the Artemis 3. But for NASA to attain such a milestone, it needs a highly sophisticated Lunar lander, spacesuits, and other technologies.
The space agency has already contracted SpaceX to build the Artemis 3 Lunar landing module but did not contract any agency for the spacesuits until recently. Before NASA awards its contract to any agency, it will conduct several checks to ensure that there will be no loopholes along the line. The Axiom Space is not a random space agency without ambition.
In fact, the Houston-based company was co-founded by Michael Suffredini, who had worked as NASA’s International Space Station Program Manager starting from 2005 to 2015. The aerospace company has already accomplished its first space mission named Axiom Mission 1. During this mission, Axiom Space launched its first commercial crew to the International Space Station on a mission that lasted from April 8 to April 25, 2022.
The Houston based aerospace is currently working towards operating the world’s first private space station in 2024. Based on the Progress Axiom Space has made, NASA is confident that the aerospace company will make highly protective spacesuits for its Artemis 3 crew. After NASA has verified that Axiom Space will deliver, it went ahead to award the contract to the commercial aerospace agency.
Lara Kearney, who is serving as the manager of NASA’s Extravehicular Activity and Human Surface Mobility Program announced this partnership with bold words. “NASA is proud to partner with the commercial industry on this historic mission that will kickstart the United States building a lasting presence on the surface of the moon. What we learn on Artemis 3 and future missions on and around the moon will pave the way for missions to Mars.” She concluded, “Spacesuits enable us to literally take that next step.”
In June 2022, NASA selected Axiom Space and Collin Aerospace to design spacesuits for future space missions to the lunar surface and the International Space Station. Both commercial aerospace companies have obtained rights from NASA to compete on contracts that will last until 2034. NASA is looking at paying out $3.5 billion for these contracts.
NASA’s latest partnership with Axiom Space is worth about $228.5 million. NASA used its more than 50 years of expertise to select Axiom Space, as the best aerospace company for this job. The American Space Agency is confident enough that Axiom Space will surely deliver on the needs of this project. When the design of the spacesuits is completed, the aerospace company will be required to test them to ensure that they meet the demand of future moon landing missions.
What’s next for the Artemis Space Missions?
NASA is almost ready for Artemis 1 Launch. In fact, the American Space agency made two launch attempts on August 29 and September 3 but called off both launches because of engine and fuel leak faults. Currently, the NASA launch team is working to restore the fuel leak fault that stopped the second launch attempt.
Once the troubleshooting is completed, NASA will announce a new launch date for its Artemis 1 mega-rocket. During the Artemis 1 lunar exploration, the Orion capsule will fly uncrewed to lunar orbit and return to earth. The success of the mission will inspire NASA to launch Artemis 2, 3, and 4 before the end of this decade.
NASA’s plans to commence with the design of Artemis moonwalkers spacesuits is a great sign that humanity is about to return to the lunar surface. Axiom Space is selected for the task because of the progress they have made so far. NASA astronauts will surely feel secured exploring the lunar surface with Axiom space suit. What do you think about humanity colonizing the moon in our lifetime?