We now know what NASA’s subsequent moonwalkers can be carrying.
NASA introduced Wednesday (Sept. 7) that it has chosen Houston firm Axiom Space to construct the moon spacesuits for Artemis 3, a mission that goals to land astronauts close to the lunar south pole in 2025 or 2026.
Artemis 3 will obtain the primary crewed touchdown on the moon because the closing Apollo flight in 1972, if all goes in response to plan. And NASA intends to maintain going again with its Artemis program, organising a crewed outpost on Earth’s nearest neighbor by the top of the 2020s.
Related: The evolution of the spacesuit in photos
“NASA is proud to partner with commercial industry on this historic mission that will kickstart the United States building a lasting presence on the surface of the moon,” Lara Kearney, supervisor of NASA’s Extravehicular Activity and Human Surface Mobility program, said in a statement (opens in new tab).
“What we learn on Artemis 3 and future missions on and around the moon will pave the way for missions to Mars,” Kearney added. “Spacesuits enable us to literally take that next step.”
In June of this yr, NASA introduced that it had chosen Axiom and a group led by Collins Aerospace to develop and construct spacesuits for future missions to the moon and the International Space Station. The two non-public groups earned the best to compete for a complete of as much as $3.5 billion via 2034.
That cash can be doled out by way of a collection of “task orders.” The newly introduced Artemis 3 award is one such order, and it has a base worth of $228.5 million.
“Using more than 50 years of spacesuit expertise, NASA defined the technical and safety requirements for the next generation of spacesuits. Axiom Space will be responsible for the design, development, qualification, certification and production of its spacesuits and support equipment that will meet these key agency requirements for Artemis 3,” company officers stated in Wednesday’s assertion.
“NASA experts will maintain the authority for astronaut training, mission planning and approval of the service systems,” they added. “Axiom Space will be required to test the suits in a spacelike environment before Artemis 3.”
A future activity order will cowl subsequent crewed Artemis missions, NASA officers stated.
NASA has not but launched any Artemis missions, however that ought to change quickly. The company is gearing up for the subsequent launch try of Artemis 1, which can ship the company’s Orion capsule on an uncrewed journey to lunar orbit and again.
NASA tried to launch Artemis 1 on Aug. 29 and Sept. 3 however scrubbed each makes an attempt on account of technical points. The company has not but introduced a goal date for the subsequent attempt.
Mike Wall is the writer of “Out There (opens in new tab)” (Grand Central Publishing, 2018; illustrated by Karl Tate), a ebook in regards to the search for alien life. Follow him on Twitter @michaeldwall (opens in new tab). Follow us on Twitter @Spacedotcom (opens in new tab) or on Facebook (opens in new tab).