NASA and Axiom Space Unveil Prototype of Artemis Mission Spacesuit: The AxEMU
On Wednesday (March 15th, 2023), NASA and its contractor Axiom Space unveiled the prototype of the spacesuit that astronauts will wear during the Artemis missions to the Moon. Called the Axiom Extravehicular Mobility Unit (AxEMU), the suit builds on NASA’s spacesuit technology while incorporating the latest technology, enhanced mobility, and protection from the Lunar environment.
The AxEMU is designed to “fit a broad range of crew members, accommodating at least 90 percent of the U.S. male and female population,” NASA wrote in a statement. The plan of the space agency to have the inaugural female land on the Moon as part of the Artemis 3 mission is demonstrated by this.
In a statement, Mike Suffredini, President and CEO of Axiom Space, asserted that the Artemis III spacesuit developed by Axiom Space will be capable of tackling the intricate tasks at the lunar south pole and thereby augmenting our comprehension of the moon, thereby paving the way for a more permanent presence.
The suit also features a “hatch” that swings open like a door, allowing the crew to step into the feet and insert their arms and head. Lastly, the suit will be zipped up in the back. The final product will not be exactly the same as the prototype, especially with regards to the coloring.
The moon is a hostile place, and the south pole is really going to be a challenge, according to Lara Kearney, NASA's manager of extravehicular activity and human surface mobility. “A lot of thermal requirements, we are really looking for improved mobility so that our astronauts can operate more efficiently and effectively than they were able to do many years ago when Apollo,” Kearney said.
White is the color of spacesuits worn by astronauts, so as to reflect heat and keep them safe from extreme temperatures, as mentioned in the release.
The unveiling of the new moon suit marks a major milestone in the Artemis mission, as it brings us one step closer to sending astronauts on a journey around the moon and eventually, to the moon’s surface. With the AxEMU, astronauts will be able to safely and effectively explore the moon and help establish a long-term presence there.
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