Fun Finds Friday: Next Generation Spacesuits

[dot_recommends] September 3, 2021 Uncategorized

NASA Needs New Spacesuits to Return to the Moon

Concept image of an Artemis astronaut stepping onto the lunar surface.

Concept image of an Artemis astronaut stepping onto the lunar surface.

 

NASA Needs New Spacesuits to Return to the Moon

The Artemis program has challenged NASA to return astronauts to the moon. Originally ordered to return to the moon by 2024, the program has been delayed by funding issues, the pandemic, and technology challenges.

What could be so great about a spacecuit that it would take years to develop and come with an R&D cost of $1BN?

Why New Suits Now?

  • The current suit technology became outdated about 25 years ago.
  • Upkeep expenses on the outdated suits have soared.
  • Then there’s the issue of increased diversity in astronauts.

Current spacesuits, built for an average man, now limit some astronauts’ ability to do their job. For example, “NASA astronaut Anne McClain canceled going on what would have been the first all-female spacewalk outside the space station after deciding that the spacesuit was too large for her.” This unfortunate incident contributed to NASA’s decision to create the spacesuit of the future.

What’s So Special About the Next Generation Spacesuits?

NASA set goals of developing a spacesuit that will fit a broad range of body types, keep astronauts safer while they do spacewalks, and allow for greater mobility.

Anticipated Features:

  • New design to accommodate a broader range of sizes and improve fit, comfort and mobility
  • More lower torso mobility to allow astronauts to walk or kneel more easily—No more “bunny hopping” on the moon!
  • Suit and boots will endure “extreme temperature swings” and move from moderate to harsh environments easily

Spacesuit Project Delays

For now, NASA reports challenges with getting access to materials for the new suits. Some technological problems also remain to be solved. Finally, more funding will be needed to complete the suits by the revised target date in 2025.

NASA continues to make progress in its quest to the moon, despite troubling obstacles. Here at StratMg, we wish you well with making progress toward your mid- and long-term goals as well!

Keep an eye out for more “fun finds” to come and get in touch with your industrial manufacturing marketing questions today!

–parin
Managing Partner

Image source: NASA

 

 

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