Artemis III Spacesuit Prototype Unveiled: Axiom Space Reveals AxEMU for Moon Surface Exploration

3 min

Axiom Space has unveiled the AxEMU prototype spacesuit for NASA’s Artemis III Moon mission, offering enhanced mobility, protection, and advanced technology for lunar exploration.

NASA and Axiom Space have unveiled the Artemis III spacesuit prototype, called the Axiom Extravehicular Mobility Unit (AxEMU). The suit, designed for NASA’s upcoming lunar South Pole mission, was presented at Space Center Houston in Texas. The AxEMU incorporates the latest technology, enhanced mobility, and added protection from lunar hazards, building on NASA’s spacesuit prototype developments.

Axiom Space was selected by NASA to develop the modern spacesuits for the Artemis III mission, a crucial step toward landing astronauts, including the first woman, on the Moon. The AxEMU is based on NASA’s Exploration Extravehicular Mobility Unit (xEMU) prototype development efforts, which focused on advanced spacesuit designs for multiple space destinations. The AxEMU features a range of motion and flexibility essential for exploring the lunar landscape and fits a broad range of crew members, accommodating at least 90% of the US male and female population.

As part of the commercial services contract, NASA will purchase moonwalking services from Axiom Space, encouraging the company to pursue other commercial customers for their moonwalking services. This mutually beneficial approach helps support an emerging commercial market and allows NASA to use the data and technologies developed under the contract for future exploration efforts.

Axiom Space is responsible for the design, development, qualification, certification, and production of flight training spacesuits and support equipment, including tools, for the Artemis III mission. The company will also test the suit in a space-like environment before the mission. NASA maintains authority for astronaut training, mission planning, and approval of the service systems.

Through the Artemis program, NASA aims to land the first woman and the first person of color on the Moon, leading to a long-term, sustainable lunar presence to explore more of the lunar surface than ever before and prepare for future astronaut missions to Mars.

Following the Artemis III mission, NASA plans to compete for future Artemis mission services under the Exploration Extravehicular Activity Services (xEVAS) contract. The xEVAS contract aims to meet the agency’s spacewalking needs for both the Moon and the International Space Station. Collins Aerospace, a competitor within the xEVAS contract, was recently awarded a task order to develop new spacesuits for astronauts to wear during spacewalks on the space station. Axiom Space and Collins Aerospace will both compete for future spacewalking and moonwalking services task orders.

The Artemis program is part of NASA’s long-term strategy to establish a sustainable human presence on the Moon and use it as a stepping stone for future missions to Mars. By partnering with commercial companies like Axiom Space and Collins Aerospace, NASA is fostering innovation and collaboration in the space industry, ensuring a robust and competitive space economy.

Moreover, the Artemis program aims to inspire the Artemis Generation, a new generation of scientists, engineers, and explorers who will carry the torch of space exploration into the future. As NASA advances its lunar exploration capabilities, the lessons learned and technologies developed will pave the way for more ambitious missions, including sending humans to Mars and beyond.

In conclusion, the unveiling of the AxEMU spacesuit prototype marks a significant milestone in the Artemis III Moon mission, showcasing the collaboration between NASA and commercial partners like Axiom Space. As the Artemis program progresses, the world eagerly anticipates the historic moment when the first woman and the first person of color set foot on the lunar surface, opening new doors for scientific discovery and human exploration.

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