HOUSTON, Texas — NASA just unveiled its new Artemis moon mission spacesuit for the first time ever.
When the space agency eventually sends the first astronauts to explore near the lunar South Pole, the moonwalkers will wear spacesuits provided by Axiom Space, NASA said in a news release.
NASA selected the company to help create the modern suits for the Artemis III mission.
“NASA’s partnership with Axiom is critical to landing astronauts on the Moon and continuing American leadership in space," NASA Administrator Bill Nelson said in a statement. "Building on NASA’s years of research and expertise, Axiom’s next-generation spacesuits will not only enable the first woman to walk on the Moon, but they will also open opportunities for more people to explore and conduct science on the Moon than ever before.
"Our partnership is investing in America, supporting America’s workers, and demonstrating another example of America’s technical ingenuity that will position NASA and the commercial space sector to compete – and win – in the 21st century.”
The mission will land astronauts, including the first woman, on the moon to "advance long-term lunar exploration and scientific discovery..."
The suit, called the Axiom Extravehicular Mobility Unit (AxEMU), builds on NASA's spacesuit prototype development while also bringing in the latest technology, enhanced mobility and added protection from possible hazards.
“NASA is leading the way in enabling a growing space economy by leveraging industry capabilities and NASA’s expertise to provide moonwalking services as safely, effectively, and efficiently as possible,” Lara Kearney, manager of NASA’s Extravehicular Activity and Human Surface Mobility program, said in a statement.
The AxEMU features the needed range of motion and flexibility to be able to explore more of the lunar landscape. It will also fit a broad range of crew members, accommodating at least 90 percent of the U.S. male and female population.
"Axiom Space is responsible for the design, development, qualification, certification, and production of flight training spacesuits and support equipment, including tools, to enable the Artemis III mission," the space agency explains in the release. "The company will test the suit in a spacelike environment prior to the mission.
"NASA maintains the authority for astronaut training, mission planning, and approval of the service systems."
Watch the full unveiling below.