Collins fournira une nouvelle combinaison spatiale pour l'équipage de l'ISS et les missions lunaires Artemis. © Collins

NASA announced June 1 that it has selected Axiom Space and Collins Aerospace to develop future spacesuits for astronauts. They will use it to venture out into the void of space as part of additional vehicle outings from the International Space Station but also for moonwalks.

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The Axiom Space team and Collins Aerospace will supply spacesuits to NASA through 2034. The total contract value is $3.5 billion. If Axiom is a new entrant in the field, Collins is a company that already knows it. In fact, with the help of ILC Dover, Collins has been supplying NASA with EMU spacesuits for decades, the technology of which has been developed within the agency.

The required spacesuits will initially replace existing xEMUs used for Additional Vehicle Exits (EVA) from the US portion of the International Space Station. They will be welcome as the resort’s diving suits are outdated. Furthermore it, Picnics canceled From last month until further notice after noticing a buildup of water leaking (in small amounts) in the helmet of German astronaut Matthias Maurer during extravehicular activity on March 23. As a reminder, Italian astronaut Luca Parmitano He could have drowned in his helmet After a water leak in 2013.

The arrangement of the spacesuit also relates to the lunar missions of the Artemis program. The first demonstration is expected in 2024-2025 with Artemis II, the first manned mission around colorbefore returning to the surface with Artemis III.

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Towards the privatization of American manned aviation

Axiom Space has become a primary partner for NASA in the field of manned flight. Already, the company has Took a tour in April On-board International Space Station. In addition, the company aims to attach a special module to the US part of the International Space Station in 2024. The module is Under construction in Turin, in Italy, at Thales Alenia Space. Eventually, other units will join in to form the first private space station to separate from the International Space Station that will accommodate astronauts, tourists and science experiments.

This announcement of the privatization of spacesuits follows NASA’s policy of integrating more and more private companies into the US astronaut program. Little by little, over the years, NASA delegated project management of its software tools to salespeople. After the space shuttles closed in 2011, commercialization of cargo trucks (which were outsourced to SpaceX and Northrop Grumman) and spacecraft (SpaceX’s Crew Dragon and starliner from Boeing), and spacesuits continue as a final example. In the future, it will be so The station that will be specialThis is how NASA sees “beyond the International Space Station”. Axiom and its station are among the best candidates.

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