Testing of Next-Gen Spacesuit Underway
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This news is classified in: Aerospace Space

Jan 10, 2024

Testing of Next-Gen Spacesuit Underway

Astronauts returning to the Moon in September 2026 as part of the Artemis III mission will wear an Axiom Extravehicular Mobility Unit (AxEMU) to enable more exploration of the lunar surface than ever before. This next-gen spacesuit will allow astronauts to walk on the Moon for the first time in over 50 years.

The AxEMU spacesuit will be ready to meet the complex challenges of the lunar south pole and help grow our understanding of the Moon in order to enable a long-term presence there.

Since the AxEMU prototype unveiling in March 2023, Axiom Space has made substantial progress in suit design and testing. The suit design is beyond the preliminary design review point with NASA and will enter the critical design review phase in June 2024.

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In 2024 and 2025, the suit will be tested in a variety of ways to mimic the space environment. This includes testing at NASA’s Neutral Buoyancy Laboratory and in thermal vacuum chambers that expose the suit to the temperatures and vacuum experienced in space. This testing will aid engineers in ensuring that the suit is safe and complies with NASA requirements.

The AxEMU spacesuit will provide astronauts with advanced capabilities for space exploration, while offering NASA affordable, commercially developed human systems needed to access, live, and work on and around the Moon. Evolving NASA’s Exploration Extravehicular Mobility Unit (xEMU) spacesuit design, the AxEMU is built to provide increased mobility and greater protection to withstand the harsh environment of the lunar south pole. The AxEMU spacesuit will also integrate with specialized tools developed by Axiom Space for exploration and scientific opportunities.

To ensure the suit can accommodate a wide range of crew members, Axiom Space has conducted many assessments with different subjects, including engineers and astronauts.

The Axiom Space AxEMU spacesuit will be able to withstand the full range of temperatures at the lunar south pole. It will be able to endure the coldest temperatures, in the permanently shadowed regions, for at least two hours.

The team continues to work closely with NASA ensuring the spacesuit will meet all the requirements for the Artemis III mission. Our experts are actively engaged in innovative work to develop and refine spacesuit technologies to ensure a high level of safety, reliability, and performance in the design.