NASA To Put New Moon Spacesuits To Test On ISS In 2023

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NASA created history in 1960 when the premier Moon mission succeeded. The space agency plans to send astronauts to the Moon again in 2024 and they'll be donning new spacesuits for the lunar exploration. But, before the astronauts wear them, the spacesuits will be trail-tested on the International Space Station in 2023, an engineer at the program said.

 

NASA will test the moon-walk at the ISS before the Artemis moon program that attempts to land astronauts at the south pole of the lunar surface in 2024. The present space suit, called the Extravehicular Mobility Unit or the EMU, is suited for floating (or other Extravehicular Activities- EVA) through space. But the lunar surface has rough rocky terrain, which is unsuitable with the EMUs.

NASA Advanced Space Suit Project: xEMU Spacesuits

NASA has a dedicated in-house department for researching and designing spacesuits called the Advanced Space Suit Project. The efforts of the project pursue developing spacesuits to explore deep space. According to a report by NASA Office of Inspector General, 2017, NASA is developing a new generation of spacesuits called xEMU.

The NASA xEMU spacesuit is currently holding its deadline for testing in 2023. On a recent note, the xEMU suits passed a preliminary design review and the results showed the baseline design is effective for operations. The next phase of testing would be the development testing and finally, a full version of the suit would be tested on the International Space Station.

 

If the xEMU spacesuit passes all these orbital trials, it would then be used by astronauts for the Artemis lunar mission in 2024 says Lindsay Aitchison, NASA's spacesuit engineer.

NASA xEMU Spacesuits Testing

NASA has been researching and designing spacesuits that are exploration-class or suits that are suitable for planetary explorations for more than a decade now. The spacesuit that Neil Armstrong donned during the iconic Apollo mission is more than 50 years old. So, it's evident that today's astronauts require something more flexible for space explorations.

The NASA xEMU spacesuits are developed in such a way that it's suitable to run missions on the future Moon expedition as well as for landing on Mars. Aitchison explains that the xEMU design can accommodate different missions by simply swapping/replacing certain components to keep astronauts safe in different environments. Certainly, the xEMU for the upcoming lunar mission will give mankind a new kind of moonwalk!

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