Update for 4:30 pm ET: NASA has picked Axiom Space and Collins Aerospace to build new spacesuits for Artemis moon astronauts and the International Space Station. Read our full story on the spacesuit companies' selection.
NASA will apparently reveal today (June 1) who's going to make the spacesuits for its Artemis moon program, and you can watch the unveiling live.
The news will come during a press conference that starts at 2 p.m. EDT (1800 GMT). You can watch it live here at Space.com, courtesy of NASA, or directly via the agency (opens in new tab).
In a media advisory released last week, NASA officials said the press conference will reveal "the company, or companies, selected to move forward in developing the next generation of spacesuits for Artemis missions at the moon and the International Space Station." That's a bit vague, but the title of that media advisory — "NASA to pick next-generation spacesuits for moonwalking, spacewalking" — suggests that "move forward in developing" actually means "build."
Artemis aims to establish a long-term, sustainable human presence on and around the moon by the end of the 2020s. NASA believes that the lessons and skills learned in making that happen will aid humanity's next giant leap — a crewed mission to Mars, which the agency hopes to pull off in the late 2030s or early 2040s.
NASA and its partners are working to develop and mature a variety of spaceflight technology to turn the grand Artemis vision into reality — including moon-focused spacesuits.
"New spacesuits that allow humans to explore the lunar surface and unlock new spacewalk capabilities outside the International Space Station are a critical part of advancing human exploration in space and demonstrating continued American leadership," NASA officials wrote in last week's media advisory.
"Under Artemis, new exploration spacesuits, together with human surface mobility systems, the Space Launch System rocket, the Orion Spacecraft, ground systems, Gateway and human landing systems, will enable NASA to return humans to and establish a long-term presence at the moon and to eventually explore Mars," they added. (Gateway is the small moon-orbiting space station that will serve as a jumping-off point for crewed missions to the lunar surface.)
The people participating in today's press conference are:
- Vanessa Wyche, director, NASA's Johnson Space Center (JSC)
- Lindsay Aitchison, program executive for Extravehicular Activity and Human Surface Mobility Program, NASA headquarters
- Lara Kearney, manager, Extravehicular Activity and Human Surface Mobility Program, JSC
- Dina Contella, operations integration manager, International Space Station Program, JSC
Mike Wall is the author of "Out There (opens in new tab)" (Grand Central Publishing, 2018; illustrated by Karl Tate), a book about the search for alien life. Follow him on Twitter @michaeldwall (opens in new tab). Follow us on Twitter @Spacedotcom (opens in new tab) or on Facebook (opens in new tab).