NASA shows off new spacesuits for future moon missions

Rodiano Bonacci
Ottobre 16, 2019

Astronauts on the International Space Station will test the new spacesuits in coming years and it will be used in a small space station in lunar orbit and on Mars.

NASA has revealed two new spacesuits which will be used in the space agency's lunar exploration programme, Project Artemis.

To that end, the suited models demonstrated bending, squatting and walking around in the bulky garments.

Advanced space suit engineer Kristine Davis bends down to pick up a rock during a demonstration of the mobility of the Exploration Extravehicular Mobility Unit (xEMU), one of two Nasa spacesuit prototypes for lunar exploration unveiled on Tuesday.at Nasa headquarters in Washington.

NASA doesn't only plan to use these suits on the Moon.

Amy Ross, NASA's lead spacesuit engineer, said: "Basically, my job is to take a basketball, shape it like a human, keep them alive in a harsh environment and give them the mobility to do their job".

Standing in front of a giant USA flag, spacesuit engineer Kristine Davis wore a pressurized red, blue and white xEMU suit, showing off a vastly improved range of motion thanks to bearings systems on the waist, arms, and legs.

Whereas astronauts like Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin had to bunny-hop clumsily across the moon's surface, astronauts with the xEMU suit will now be able to simply walk.

"NASA is prepared to build and certify the initial spacesuits for the first trip to the lunar surface in 2024, as part of the Artemis III mission".

The agency views its return to the Moon as a proving ground for an onward mission to Mars in the 2030s.

The focus on spacesuits created to fit a more diverse crew comes after plans for the first all-female spacewalk had to be scrapped this year because there were not enough medium-size spacesuits.

One suit of orange fabric will be worn by astronauts when inside the spacecraft.

Another attempt for the first all-female spacewalk, a roughly six-hour crawl on the exterior of the space station to install new batteries, is back on for Thursday, Nasa said in a news release on Tuesday.

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