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NASA Details xEMU, the Artemis Program Spacesuit

As it gets ready for its first crewed mission to the Moon in decades, NASA is accelerating the development of the tools that will make the Artemis program a success, from the orbital launch system to the spacesuits to be worn by astronauts on the surface of the satellite.
New spacesuit design detailed by NASA 10 photos
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Not long ago, the space agency made public the first images of the next-generation spacesuit, called Exploration Extravehicular Mobility Unit, or xEMU. Built as an evolution of the current spacewalk suit, the xEMU is something the world has never seen before.

A bunch of changes had to be implemented to make it compatible with the harsh environment of the Moon. These changes make xEMU the most technologically advanced piece of personal hardware ever designed for space exploration.

First off, the suit has to be a tight fit for the moonwalkers, so design changes were implemented and systems added to keep harmful elements out. The unit can be worn in temperatures ranging between minus 250 degrees Fahrenheit in the shade and up to 250 degrees in the sun, without harming its occupant.

The Moon is a dusty piece of rock, and the suit also has to keep the fine particles out. As a consequence, most of the elements of the suit are dust-proof and dust-resistant.

xEMU will allow for its occupants to climb inside from the back of the suit, making the pieces of the hard upper torso sit closer together than the current design.

Inside, the astronauts get wrapped in a so-called pressure garment that protects them from extreme temperatures, radiation, micrometeoroids, and reduced atmospheric pressure.

The communications system inside the helmet has been redesigned as well. Instead of the conventional snoopy cap headsets, the helmet is now filled with voice-activated microphones. The quick-snap vizor remains.

xEMU is equipped with tons of miniaturized parts, ranging from electronics to plumbing, and this allowed for backups to be created for most of its systems. It is also modular of sorts, meaning it can be fitted with a variety of interchangeable parts to serve the most diverse needs.

Despite all the technological advancements however, astronauts will still have to wear diapers while on mission.

You can read all about the new spacesuit for the Artemis program in the document attached below.

press release
 
 
 
 
 

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