When NASA astronauts land on the moon for the Artemis III lunar mission in 2025, they will be donning an ultramodern version of the iconic white spacesuit. The space agency partnered with Axiom Space to design a next-gen suit with enhanced protective features, better range of motion and innovative equipment. A prototype of the Axiom Extravehicular Mobility Unit (dubbed AxEMU) was unveiled during the Moon 2 Mars Festival on Wednesday.
Axiom worked with NASA to upgrade the suit and plans to deliver a batch of space-ready training suits in late summer, the company said in a press release. The spacesuit is designed to “provide astronauts with advanced capabilities for space exploration while providing NASA commercially developed human systems needed to access, live and work on and around the Moon.”
The black spacesuit seen in the photo is not the finished product, but a cover layer for display purposes meant to conceal its proprietary construction. Axiom says moonwalking suits must be white to reflect heat and protect the wearer from harsh temperatures. In addition to enhanced safety and technological features, the new AxEMU spacesuits can fit “at least” 90% of men and women in the US, NASA said in a statement.
Artemis III will mark the first time humans explore the lunar South Pole, and the crew will include its first woman and first person of color in the history-making space mission. It’s been more than 50 years since the Apollo missions first brought humans to the moon.