The Axiom Extravehicular Mobility Unit (AxEMU) spacesuit, which will be used by astronauts on the Artemis missions, was only partially shown at an event at the Johnson Space Center in Houston in order to keep confidential information about the suit from being released.
“Because the suit worn on the Moon must be white to reflect the sun and protect the astronauts from the intense heat, the protective layer is currently only used for display to hide the suit’s signature design,” Axiom Space said in a press release.
One of the shows, however, was the improved functionality, performance, and capabilities of the new spacesuit compared to the Apollo suits and even the current spacesuits worn by astronauts on the ISS.
“We haven’t had a new suit in 40 years, since the suits were designed for the Space Shuttle program,” Vanessa Wyche, director of NASA’s Johnson Space Center, said.
“Axiom Space took data and research provided by NASA and developed a more functional suit. We will continue to work with them to make sure we have a safe suit.”
While demonstrating the development, Axiom engineer Jim Stein put on a prototype of the new suit, walked, crouched, lunged, knelt, etc., and also demonstrated how flexible the arms make the new suit.
“This represents a huge improvement over the Apollo suits,” said Russell Ralston, deputy program manager for extravehicular activities at Axiom Space. “The Artemis astronauts will be more comfortable and have easier maneuverability.”
NASA said the spacesuit is based on the agency’s prototype spacesuit designs and includes the latest technology, increased mobility, and additional protection from hazards on the Moon.