Each weekend, an image that made the news or caught our attention. On March 15, the Texas company Axiom presented its project of a new generation suit for NASA astronauts.
Two conglomerates choosen
In June 2022, Nasa had announced that it was tapping two private vendors to supply its next-generation extravehicular activity scaphanders, known as xEMU (Exploration Extravehicular Mobility Unit).
They are Axiom Space, a startup founded in 2016 in Houston, Texas, and Collins Aerospace, a subsidiary of U.S. aerospace and defense giant Raytheon Technologies, based in North Carolina.
The suits developed by these two companies will be required for both astronaut-led operations outside the International Space Station, as well as for stays on the Moon as part of the Artemis program.
This is the first time since the space shuttle debuted in April... 1981, that a new generation of extravehicular suits will be developed for Nasa (the Crew Dragon flight suits of SpaceX or the Starliner CST-100 of Boeing do not allow for space vacuum).
Small industry secrets
On March 15 it was Axiom Space that first unveiled what its AxEMU suit project would look like.
The presentation took place at the Space Center in Houston, Texas, near Nasa's Johnson Center dedicated to human spaceflight, including astronauts Kate Rubins (a member of the Artemis team in Nasa's Astronaut Corps), Peggy Whitson and John Shoffner (currently preparing for the Axiom 2 mission to the ISS).
The suit, which will obviously be white in the final livery, was presented in an anthracite version, in order to hide some technical details, especially to Axiom Space competitors.
The wink of Thomas Pesquet
On social networks, the French astronaut Thomas Pesquet did not miss the opportunity to remind that he and his colleagues are also eyeing the Moon.
On Twitter, he commented the same day : " Any European would look great in [this suit], and there is no doubt that many will have the opportunity to wear it... "
And he added, with the humor we know : " I may be biased, but I think it would look pretty good on me, don't you ? "
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