New NASA Spacesuit: The AxEMU

NASA unvieled its new spacesuit, called Axiom Extravehicular Mobility Unit, or AxEMU. This new suit is said to be more flexible and designed to "fit a broad range of crew members," accommodating at least 90% of the U.S. male and female population, as per NASA statement.

New NASA Spacesuit: The AxEMU

The suit, which is still in prototype status, is being developed by Axiom Space, and is said to be a better fit for female space travellers. Nasa hopes to have the updated suit ready for the Artemis III mission to the Moon in 2025, when NASA sends the first astronauts to explore near the lunar South Pole.

According to NASA, although the prototypes uses a dark gray cover material, the final version will likely be all-white when worn by NASA astronauts on the Moon’s surface, to help keep the astronauts safe and cool while working in the harsh environment of space.

In regards to the design, Axiom Space states that a cover layer is currently being used for display purposes only, and to conceal the suit’s proprietary design.

Here are some details about the AxEMU Spacesuit, as per Axiom Space:

  • A SPACESUIT FOR EVERYONE: The Axiom Space AxEMU spacesuit is a revolutionary development in design, offering significant benefits for astronauts, space agencies, and commercial space companies. An increased sizing and adjustability accommodates a wider range of the general population, providing a superior fit for astronauts while increasing their comfort and ability to perform tasks.
  • BETTER MOBILITY: Spacesuits perform at the edge of exploration, so mobility and agility are core to the AxEMU design. Utilizing innovative soft and hard joints for an increased range of motion will enable astronauts to walk on the Moon more effortlessly, perform more precise geological and scientific tasks, and translate on space stations easier, all while maximizing comfort.
  • SAFETY: Leveraging lessons learned from legacy spacesuits, the AxEMU incorporates new technology that delivers enhanced safety and reliability. An architecture built around the astronaut mitigates single-point failures by integrating redundant components optimized to keep the user safe while they return to the spacecraft.

Founded in 2016 , Axiom Space, Inc., also known as Axiom Space, is an American privately funded space infrastructure developer headquartered in Houston, Texas. In 2022, Axiom space successfully completed the first private mission to the International Space Station and the company is currently building what may be the first commercial space station, set to launch Hub 1 in 2024.

NASA Mission to the Lunar South Pole

Artemis III, which is scheduled for 2025, will be humanity's first return to the lunar surface in over five decades after two previous Artemis test missions. NASA will achieve a historic milestone by sending humans to explore the area near the lunar South Pole.

While on the Moon, the astronauts will engage in scientific research within the Starship and embark on a series of moonwalks, venturing outside the Starship to examine the surface. Equipped with advanced spacesuits, the astronauts will exit through an airlock and descend using Starship's elevator.

During their moonwalks, the astronauts will perform various scientific tasks such as taking pictures and videos, examining geology, collecting samples, and gathering data to fulfill specific scientific objectives. The photographs captured at the lunar South Pole will be distinctly different from those taken during the Apollo missions at the Moon's equatorial region. The Sun will be low on the horizon, casting extended and dark shadows over the landscape, which the team will explore using headlamps and navigational equipment. The data and materials gathered by the Artemis III crew will enhance our comprehension of the South Pole region, the Moon, and the solar system.

The mission control teams, here on Earth, will remain in contact with the crew as they relay their experiences, observations, and emotions. By utilizing advanced communication technology to send high-quality images and videos to the ground, they will share this unique human experience with the rest of the world.

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