NASA will reveal this afternoon from Space Center Houston in Texas [puedes seguirlo aquí en directo a partir de las 16.30 horas] one of its best kept secrets: the space suit that its astronauts will wear when they set foot on the Moon again in 2025, including the first woman, within the Artemis III mission.
The prototype has been developed by the company Axiom Space, created by Michael López-Alegría, the former astronaut of Spanish origin of the US space agency.
The suits, which will be demonstrated live, will allow humans to explore the lunar surface. The goal, along with other mobility systems on the Moon, the Space Launch System (SLS) super rocket, the Orion spacecraft and the Gateway space station, is to ensure that not only a return to the Moon, but also the establishment of a presence there long-term human. A stable lunar base will guarantee the increase of scientific knowledge and serve as a springboard to other worlds.
In 2019, NASA presented some sketches of the new equipment for the Artemis program. Then, two differentiated teams were shown, one for extravehicular missions and another for the more complex maneuvers on board the probe. Model xEMU, the Exploration Extravehicular Mobility Unit, was a red, white and blue suit designed to be worn by astronauts who will explore the moon’s south pole, the target of NASA’s upcoming crewed lunar landing.
On the other hand, the bright orange Orion Crew Life Support System would be worn by astronauts when they launched into space in the Orion capsule or returned to Earth. A main feature of the suit is that while it is depressurized, it can be pressurized in an emergency.
Building on the previous xEMU prototype, the new spacesuit Axiom Extravehicular Mobility Unit (AxEMU) “provides greater flexibility, greater protection against the hostile environment and specialized tools to meet exploration needs and expand scientific opportunities,” López-Alegría’s company stated in a statement. Using innovative technologies, AxEMU “will enable exploration of more of the lunar surface than ever before.”
The Axiom-supplied spacesuits that NASA astronauts will don on the moon will have a white outer shell to reflect heat, protecting the wearer from extremely high temperatures when exposed to sunlight. For the purposes of Wednesday’s reveal and to hide the suit’s proprietary elements, the prototype images had the Axiom logo and a cover added to keep one of the US space agency’s best-kept secrets hidden.
This afternoon we will clear up doubts, but what seems clear is that the astronauts who set foot on the Moon again will look very different from what Neil Armstrong and his companions in the Apollo program did more than 50 years ago.
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