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NASA and Axiom have unveiled the spacesuits that will be used by the astronauts who will land on the moon in Operation Artemis

The innovative design comes with special features to support the astronauts as they conduct scientific experiments on the surface of the moon as well as the women who will be one of the first crew to land. NASA hopes the updated suit will be ready for the Artemis III mission to the moon in 2025

The Artemis III space suit prototype, the AxEMU. Although this prototype is covered in a dark gray cover material, the final version will likely be completely white when worn by NASA astronauts on the lunar surface, to help keep the astronauts safe and cool as they work in the harsh environment of space. Credit: Axiom Space
The Artemis III space suit prototype, the AxEMU. Although this prototype is covered in a dark gray cover material, the final version will likely be completely white when worn by NASA astronauts on the surface of the moon, to help keep the astronauts safe and cool as they work in the harsh environment of space. Credit: Axiom Spice

NASA has unveiled two new spacesuits that astronauts will wear when they walk on the moon during the Artemis III mission, scheduled for 2024. The new suits, called the Extravehicular Mobility Unit (xEMU) and the Orion Crew Survival System, represent a significant upgrade over the spacesuits used during the Apollo era. .

The xEMU spacesuit is designed to be more flexible and mobile than previous spacesuits, with improved joint mobility and a modular design that allows for easier customization to individual astronauts' needs. It also features a regenerative life support system that can recycle breathing air and remove carbon dioxide from the suit. This system would allow astronauts to spend more time on the lunar surface without having to return to the lunar module for a fresh supply of air.

The xEMU spacesuit also includes advanced thermal management technology that will help astronauts stay comfortable in the extreme temperatures of the lunar surface. The suit has a temperature range of -157 to +121 degrees Celsius) and can maintain a comfortable temperature for up to eight hours.

In addition to xEMU, NASA also developed the Orion Crew Survival System, designed to protect astronauts during launch and re-entry into the atmosphere. The system includes a pressure suit, parachute and survival equipment, and is designed to keep the astronauts safe in the event of an emergency during takeoff or landing.

Both the xEMU and the Orion crew survival system have undergone rigorous testing to ensure their safety and functionality. NASA has conducted extensive testing of the suits in simulated lunar environments, including at the agency's Neutral Buoyancy Laboratory in Houston, Texas. These tests allowed the astronauts to practice wearing the suits while performing tasks such as collecting rock samples and deploying scientific instruments.

NASA's Artemis III mission is part of the agency's broader Artemis program, which aims to land the next crew that will include the first female astronaut to land on the moon. The program will also establish a sustainable presence on the lunar surface, with the goal of using the moon as a stepping stone for manned exploration of Mars.

NASA says that the development of the xEMU and the survival system of the Orion team is a key part of the success of the Artemis program. The new spacesuits will allow astronauts to explore the lunar surface in greater detail and for longer periods of time than ever before. They represent a significant step forward in space exploration technology and are a testament to the sophistication and perseverance of NASA's scientists and engineers.

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