Written By: Zac Aubert
Published: Wed, Mar 15, 2023 2:36 PM
Latest Update: Wed, Mar 15, 2023 2:59 PM
When astronauts return to the Moon for the first time in over 50 years as part of NASA’s Artemis III mission, they will be wearing Axiom Space’s Artemis xEVA Lunar Spacesuit to walk on the lunar surface. These spacesuits will service humanity's return to the moon through 2030.
“We’re carrying on NASA’s legacy by designing an advanced spacesuit that will allow astronauts to operate safely and effectively on the Moon...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.” - Michael Suffredini, Axiom Space President and CEO
The new spacesuit, now titled AxEMU, has been designed to be a cheaper, multipurpose, and agile alternative to NASA’s in house design. The design is fully adaptable, allowing all astronauts to be able to use the same suit comfortably, without hindering mobility. The AxEMU suit has also taken many key lessons from the Apollo program space suits, and strived for a safer, redundant, and reliable space suit.
The development of these next-generation spacesuits by Axiom Space is a significant milestone in furthering American leadership in space exploration and enabling a deeper understanding of the solar system and beyond. Through Artemis, NASA will land the first woman and the first person of color on the Moon, paving the way for a long-term, sustainable presence and serving as a gateway for future astronaut missions to Mars. Artemis III is scheduled to land near the lunar south pole in 2025.
The spacesuit worn on the Moon will come in white to reflect heat and protect astronauts from extreme high temperatures.
Axiom Space will deliver a full fleet of training spacesuits to NASA this summer.
Axiom Space collaborated with costume designer Esther Marquis from the Apple TV+ series, “For All Mankind” to create this custom cover layer using the Axiom Space logo and brand colors.
The xEMU program started as a NASA internal project, working to develop the next generation of lunar spacesuits for the Artemis program. However, slow development time and costly production costs caused strain on the program. In August 2021, an internal investigation of the program found that NASA would not be able to complete two xEMU suits in time to fly on the Artemis III Mission, now planning to fly in 2025. The report suggested that NASA create a commercial program that would outsource the creation and development of the next-generation lunar spacesuit to commercial companies. This approach would be a cheaper and faster way to acquire the space suits in time for the Artemis III mission.
In September of 2022, NASA awarded Axiom $228,000,000 to begin preliminary research and development into creating the xEMU suit in time for the launch of Artemis III.
Axiom Space is building history, guided by the vision of a thriving home in space that benefits every human, everywhere. The leading provider of human spaceflight services and developer of human-rated space infrastructure, Axiom Space operates end-to-end missions to the International Space Station today while developing its successor – a permanent commercial destination in low-Earth orbit that will sustain human growth off the planet and bring untold benefits back home.
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