NASA announces who will develop new spacesuits for lunar astronauts

NASA announces who will develop new spacesuits for lunar astronauts

NASA has selected Axiom Space and Collins Aerospace to develop the next spacesuits for astronauts working outside the International Space Station (ISS), exploring the moon on Artemis missions and preparing for future human missions to Mars.

The agency said Wednesday that the Exploration Extravehicular Activity Services (xEVAS) contract allows vendors to compete for task orders for spacewalk missions in low Earth orbit and to the moon through 2034.

Milestone-based awards have a combined maximum potential value of $3.5 billion for all task order awards, including development and services for the first demonstration outside the space station in orbit low terrestrial and for the Artemis III lunar landing.

Moreover, each company has invested a significant amount of its own money.



Artist’s rendering of two suitably crew members working on the lunar surface. The one in the foreground lifts a rock to examine it while the other photographs the collection site in the background. (NASA)

While NASA has set the technical and safety standards to which the spacesuits will be built — with companies agreeing to the requirements — it said its commercial partners are encouraged to explore other non-NASA commercial applications for the data and data. technologies they are co-developing with NASA.

Axiom Space and Collins Aerospace will be responsible for the design, development, qualification, certification and production of the spacesuits.

The contract, which is managed by NASA’s Johnson Space Center, also provides NASA with an optional mechanism to add additional vendors that were not selected in the initial award announcement.

“With these awards, NASA and our partners will develop advanced and reliable spacesuits that will allow humans to explore the cosmos like never before,” Johnson Space Center Director Vanessa Wyche said in a statement. “By partnering with industry, we are effectively advancing the technology needed to keep Americans on the path to successful discovery on the International Space Station and as we aim to explore the lunar surface.”

Axiom Space is also based in Houston, Texas, and said it partnered with several industry experts on the contract.


The company said its xEVAS spacesuits will be designed to accommodate a wide range of crew members and offer increased flexibility and specialized tools.

“Our innovative xEVAS spacesuit approach provides NASA with a scalable design that enables cost-effective development, testing, training, deployment, and real-time operations to meet a variety of EVA needs and operational scenarios for a range customers, including NASA,” said Michael Suffredini, President and CEO of Axiom Space. “We are extremely pleased that NASA recognizes the value that Axiom Space provides across a range of human spaceflight activities, from our recent private astronaut mission to the ISS to the design and development of the Axiom Station. , and now to providing this critical system and associated services for astronauts in LEO and beyond.”

Collins Aerospace – a subsidiary of Raytheon Technologies which has partnered with ILC Dover and Oceaneering – said the suits will weigh less than current-generation spacesuits.

“Collins was there when the first man walked on the moon, and we will be there when humanity returns,” Phil Jasper, president of Mission Systems for Collins Aerospace, said in a statement.


Collins Aerospace designed the first space suit that allowed astronauts to walk on the moon, as well as the suit that NASA astronauts currently use when operating outside the ISS.

Suffrredini and Dan Burbank – a senior technical researcher at Collins Aerospace and a former NASA astronaut – said their companies would be ready for demonstration missions to the moon by 2025.

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