A new generation of lunar spacesuits is ready for a big reveal.
Houston-based company Axiom Space will showcase prototypes of its moon spacesuits for Artemis missions on the moon during a live event Wednesday (March 15) starting at 10:30 a.m. EDT (1430 GMT). You can watch the webcast here at Space.com, via NASA Television.
Axiom Space will build the spacesuits for Artemis 3, which will touch down at the lunar south pole with astronauts on board as soon as December 2025. The company was selected for that mission, the first to put humans on the moon since 1972, from a larger NASA spacesuit contract on Sept. 7, 2022.
NASA selected Axiom and a team led by Collins Aerospace to develop and build spacesuits for future missions to the moon and the International Space Station in June 2022. The money will be furnished via "task orders" with a total value, across all contracts, of $3.5 billion through 2034.
The Artemis 3 award has a base value of $228.5 million and is the first such task order in the manifest. Axiom has not made spacesuits for NASA before, but the company is an agency partner in other ventures; for example, the Axiom's Ax-1 mission ran the first commercial crewed mission to the ISS in 2022 aboard a SpaceX Crew Dragon, and Ax-2 will lift off later this year.
In the longer term, Axiom plans a commercial hub on the ISS that would include a movie studio. Eventually, Axiom's modules will detach from the ISS and become an independent private space station in low Earth orbit.
"Planned during the reveal activities are remarks from NASA and Axiom Space experts, a suit demonstration, as well as question-and-answer sessions with media and students," NASA said in a March 8 statement about the March 15 event.
Participants at the event will include:
- Bob Cabana, associate administrator, NASA
- Vanessa Wyche, center director, NASA Johnson Space Center
- Lara Kearney, manager, Extravehicular Activity and Human Surface Mobility Program, NASA Johnson
- Kate Rubins, NASA astronaut
- Michael Suffredini, president and CEO, Axiom Space
- Mark Greeley, program manager for Extravehicular Activity, Axiom Space
- Russell Ralston, deputy program manager for Extravehicular Activity, Axiom Space
- Peggy Whitson, Axiom-2 commander, Axiom Space
- John Shoffner, Axiom-2 pilot, Axiom Space
Elizabeth Howell is the co-author of "Why Am I Taller?" (ECW Press, 2022; with Canadian astronaut Dave Williams), a book about space medicine. Follow her on Twitter @howellspace. Follow us on Twitter @Spacedotcom or Facebook.
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Elizabeth Howell (she/her), Ph.D., is a staff writer in the spaceflight channel since 2022 covering diversity, education and gaming as well. She was contributing writer for Space.com for 10 years before joining full-time. Elizabeth's reporting includes multiple exclusives with the White House and Office of the Vice-President of the United States, an exclusive conversation with aspiring space tourist (and NSYNC bassist) Lance Bass, speaking several times with the International Space Station, witnessing five human spaceflight launches on two continents, flying parabolic, working inside a spacesuit, and participating in a simulated Mars mission. Her latest book, "Why Am I Taller?", is co-written with astronaut Dave Williams. Elizabeth holds a Ph.D. and M.Sc. in Space Studies from the University of North Dakota, a Bachelor of Journalism from Canada's Carleton University and a Bachelor of History from Canada's Athabasca University. Elizabeth is also a post-secondary instructor in communications and science at several institutions since 2015; her experience includes developing and teaching an astronomy course at Canada's Algonquin College (with Indigenous content as well) to more than 1,000 students since 2020. Elizabeth first got interested in space after watching the movie Apollo 13 in 1996, and still wants to be an astronaut someday. Mastodon: https://qoto.org/@howellspace