Nasa unveils spacesuits to be worn by first woman on the moon

James Marshall
October 17, 2019

Boeing previous year delivered the propulsion system that will give the Orion the ability to travel thousands of miles beyond the moon and back on the first unmanned mission using the SLS.

The xEMU spacesuit will be used for space walks to explore the moon's south pole and has major improvements with mobility. The insulation is created to withstand a temperature range of -150C to 120C.

Standing in front of a giant United States flag, spacesuit engineer Kristine Davis wore a pressurized red, blue and white xEMU suit, showing off a vastly improved range of motion thanks to bearings systems on the waist, arms, and legs. "We can fit anywhere from the first percentile female to the 99th percentile male, said Amy Ross, one of NASA's spacesuit designers during Tuesday's demonstration".

Earlier Tuesday, the US Space Agency unveiled designs for what will be its next-generation spacesuit, known as the xEMU.

Artemis astronauts will be more nimble than ever before with mobility enhancements in the new suits, preventing the iconic "bunny hopping" motion of Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin.

"I was planning on changing sizes on the second suit, and because everything went so well on the first one, we realized. we don't need to inject any additional unknowns into something that is as important and as risky as a spacewalk.It's very important that all of us are able to work as efficiently and safely as possible, and so Nick and I swapped", McClain said.

The Space Launch System (SLS) is NASA's rocket that will launch astronauts in the Orion capsule and cargo to the moon, and eventually to Mars, according to a press release from Boeing on Wednesday. It is to be worn when astronauts launch from Earth and return.

The focus on spacesuits created to fit a more diverse crew comes after plans for the first all-female spacewalk had to be scrapped this year because there were not enough medium-size spacesuits.

"McClain learned during her first spacewalk that a medium-size hard upper torso - essentially the shirt of the spacesuit - fits her best".

Astronaut Christina Koch was initially scheduled to spacewalk with Anne McClain but was swapped for Nick Hague due to the unavailability of a proper sized spacesuit. We'll have a telecon later today.

Astronauts onboard the Artemis moon mission will have two suits: One for moonwalks and one for use inside the shuttle or in space. They plan to exploit its water ice, with plans to set it up as a staging ground for an eventual Mars mission.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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