A new spacesuit has been invented for moonwalkers. Now astronauts will be able to be more graceful and more flexible on the lunar surface.
The company designing the next-generation spacesuits, Axiom Space, said Wednesday that it plans to have new versions for training purposes for NASA later this summer.
According to the company, the lunar suits will be white, as NASA has long used. That’s so they can reflect heat and keep future moonwalkers cool.
Deputy Program Manager on Axiom Space Russel Ralston explaned the spcaesuit:
“The light band is mounted to the visor assembly, to the helmet bubble. And this this essentially gives the astronauts lights to see when they're in shaded portions of the Moon or if they're in low-Earth orbit in a night pass, they can turn on these lights to see using tools or translating on the space station or anything like that. We also have on the side here we have a HD video camera, so those of us back on Spaceship Earth watching the EVA will be able to watch it in high definition, which would be a fantastic upgrade, I think from from current day technology. All of this is mounted on the helmet bubble which is amounted to, what we call in this configuration of our suit, the hard upper torso. So the hard upper torso goes roughly from Jim's waist up to the top. And this is kind of the core structure of the suit. It's what we attach everything to.”
Ralston also emphasized the comfort of the outfit:
“There's a variety of joints that we've put as well into the lower torso assembly, and this is going to be a huge improvement over the Apollo suits. The Apollo suits didn't have many of these types of joints that we've put in this suit. So the astronauts would be more comfortable, have an easier time walking.”
NASA awarded Axiom Space a $228.5 million contract to provide the outfits for the first moon landing in more than 50 years. The space agency is targeting late 2025 at the earliest to land two astronauts on the moon’s south pole.
At Wednesday’s event in Houston, an Axiom employee modeled a dark spacesuit, doing squats and twisting at the waist to demonstrate its flexibility. The company said the final version will be different, including the color.