Friday, March 17, 2023

NASA unveils new spacesuit for Artemis mission astronauts

Fashion-wise, the bulky, white space suits worn by Neil Armstrong and the other Apollo astronauts half a century ago are far out of style. Present-day lunar fashion calls for something more fitting and comfortable for both genders.

On Wednesday, Nasa presented the initial model for a new and improved spacesuit, customised for the astronauts who will be the first to explore the moon's surface in the upcoming years. The suit has been carefully designed with all the necessary accessories.

At the Johnson Space Center in Houston, Axiom Space, the Texas-based firm hired by Nasa to craft garments for the Artemis program (the follow-up to Apollo's moon mission), presented the most modern moon-wear during a gathering for media and students.

In December, Nasa successfully launched their new Orion spacecraft and their next-generation rocket, Artemis 1 mission, on an uncrewed test flight for a round trip around the moon.

Nasa and the Canadian Space Agency have intended to declare the four astronauts who have been picked to fly on Artemis 2, a round-trip mission, as soon as the year to come.

The success of that flight will be a stepping stone for the Artemis 3 mission, which involves sending astronauts to the south pole of the Moon for the first time ever. It will also be the first mission to send a female to explore the Moon.

Nasa has pledged that subsequent Artemis journeys will include the first individual of color on the lunar surface.

The initiative, which was named after Apollo's twin sister from Greek mythology, is ultimately created with the purpose of setting up a permanent lunar base as a base for upcoming human exploration of Mars.

Bill Nelson, the head of Nasa, declared that the new spacesuits will provide more people with the chance to explore and do research on the moon than ever before.

A total of six Apollo missions, which took place between 1969 and 1972, saw twelve male astronauts of Caucasian descent land on the moon.

The attire donned by the Artemis crew when they venture to the moon will be a far cry from the cumbersome spacesuits of the past.

Axiom has dubbed their new suits as the "Axiom Extravehicular Mobility Unit," or AxEMU for short. These outfits are more lightweight and flexible than the outdated Apollo suits, allowing for more movement and providing a broader range of sizes to fit the user.

Nasa stated that their technological advances in life-support systems, pressure garments and avionics are tailored to fit the needs of almost all American males and females. The design is expected to meet the requirements of 90% of the population.

The exact appearance of the suits, though, was a very closely guarded trade secret. The ones that were presented had a charcoal gray exterior with splashes of orange and blue and Axiom's logo on the chest - which was done to conceal the exclusive outer fabric pattern of Axiom.

The company relayed that the protective gear to be worn on the lunar south pole by astronauts would be white, since this hue has been determined to be the optimal choice to reflect the intense sunlight on the moon's surface while shielding the wearers from extreme temperatures.

NASA presented their new spacesuit, designed for the Artemis Moon landing mission, to the public on 16 March 2023. The suit, which is intended to be the successor to the iconic Apollo 11 spacesuit, is a technological leap forward in terms of how astronauts will be able to move, communicate and explore in the lunar environment. It has been developed over the last four years and is expected to provide the astronauts with greater mobility, comfort and protection.

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