NASA reveals its most sophisticated space suit yet that its astronauts will wear on moon mission in five years
- NASA is set to send a crew to the moon in 2024 wearing redesigned suits
- The suits will provide better mobility and flexibility for traveling on the surface
- If a helmet crack, astronauts can fix it instead of sending it back to Earth
- NASA will conduct full-body, 3D scans of each astronaut to fit them in the suit
The astronauts set for the Artemis mission to the moon will put on suits that may look like today’s gear, but will be redesigned with new technology to accomplish more complex tasks.
The new space suits are set to allow for better mobility, allowing them to lift their arms and objects over their head and flexibility at the hips and knees, for smoother travel over the lunar surface.
NASA also plans to take full-body, 3D scans of each astronaut to provide them with the most comfort and broadest range of motion.
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The new space suits are set to allow for better mobility, allowing them to lift their arms and objects over their head and flexibility at the hips and knees, for smoother travel over the lunar surface (pictured is an artist impression)
A famous video of Gene Cernan, the last man to walk on the moon, floating around the web that shows the American astronaut bunny hopping across the lunar surface – and this is one of the issues NASA hopes to eliminate with the new design.
The new space hear is set to have interchangeable parts that can be used for spacewalks in microgravity or on a planetary surface.
This will allow astronauts to tailor the suit based on the environment, such as a life support functionality in carbon dioxide-rich atmospheres or a warming system for cold temperatures.
There will also be a rear-entry hatch on the suits that lets the wearer climb into the space suit and improved shoulder placement for better mobility and protection.
There will be a clear protective visor on the helmet that protects the pressurized bubble from any wear and tear or dents and scratches from the abrasive dirt of planetary bodies
Most importantly, the suits will be design to allow movement – astronauts will be able to lift things above their head.
Because astronauts rely on gravity, not their legs, to move around in space, the pants and boots will be designed to accommodate mobility in partial gravity.
The astronauts set for the Artemis mission to the moon will put on suits that may look like today’s gear (pictured is Buzz Aldrin, one of the first men on the moon)
The lower torso area will be designed with advanced materials and joint bearings and each astronaut will be issued hiking-style boots with flexible soles.
To combat the issue with the current microphones in the helmet, which sometimes become sweaty and uncomfortable, NASA is set to replace it with a new system that is embedded, voice activated and placed in the upper body area.
And the helmet is also getting a makeover.
There will be a clear protective visor that protects the pressurized bubble from any wear and tear or dents and scratches from the abrasive dirt of planetary bodies.
And the quick-swap function means that astronauts can replace the visor before or after a spacewalk eliminating the need to send it back to Earth for repairs.
NASA is targeting the last half of 2024 for when humans will land near the south pole of the moon. The target is set to give NASA more time to accomplish projects that are necessary for a successful mission — including these next-generation space suits
WHAT IS NASA’S ARTEMIS MISSION TO THE MOON?
Artemis was the twin sister of Apollo and goddess of the Moon in Greek mythology.
NASA has chosen her to personify its path back to the Moon, which will see astronauts return to the lunar surface by 2024 – including the first woman and the next man.
Artemis 1, formerly Exploration Mission-1, is the first in a series of increasingly complex missions that will enable human exploration to the Moon and Mars.
Artemis 1 will be the first integrated flight test of NASA’s deep space exploration system: the Orion spacecraft, Space Launch System (SLS) rocket and the ground systems at Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida.
Artemis 1 will be an uncrewed flight that will provide a foundation for human deep space exploration, and demonstrate our commitment and capability to extend human existence to the Moon and beyond.
During this flight, the spacecraft will launch on the most powerful rocket in the world and fly farther than any spacecraft built for humans has ever flown.
It will travel 280,000 miles (450,600 km) from Earth, thousands of miles beyond the Moon over the course of about a three-week mission.
Artemis 1, formerly Exploration Mission-1, is the first in a series of increasingly complex missions that will enable human exploration to the Moon and Mars. This graphic explains the various stages of the mission
Orion will stay in space longer than any ship for astronauts has done without docking to a space station and return home faster and hotter than ever before.
With this first exploration mission, NASA is leading the next steps of human exploration into deep space where astronauts will build and begin testing the systems near the Moon needed for lunar surface missions and exploration to other destinations farther from Earth, including Mars.
The will take crew on a different trajectory and test Orion’s critical systems with humans aboard.
The SLS rocket will from an initial configuration capable of sending more than 26 metric tons to the Moon, to a final configuration that can send at least 45 metric tons.
Together, Orion, SLS and the ground systems at Kennedy will be able to meet the most challenging crew and cargo mission needs in deep space.
Eventually NASA seeks to establish a sustainable human presence on the Moon by 2028 as a result of the Artemis mission.
The space agency hopes this colony will uncover new scientific discoveries, demonstrate new technological advancements and lay the foundation for private companies to build a lunar economy.
In the Anthropometry and Biomechanics Facility at NASA’s Johnson Space Center, astronauts set for the moon will undergo full-body, 3D scans while performing basic motions and postures expected during spacewalks.
With a complete 3D animated model, NASA can match the astronaut to the modular space suit components that will provide the most comfort and the broadest range of motion, while reducing the potential for skin irritation where the suit might press on the body.
NASA is targeting the last half of 2024 for when humans will land near the south pole of the moon.
The target is set to give NASA more time to accomplish projects that are necessary for a successful mission — including these next-generation space suits.