Aerospace & Defence

Collins Aerospace to produce next-gen spacesuit for NASA

6th June 2022
Kiera Sowery

Collins Aerospace, along with teammates ILC Dover and Oceaneering, have been selected to produce NASA’s next-gen spacesuit, which astronauts could wear when working outside the International Space Station and on the Moon.

The suits were designed by astronauts for astronauts and offer enhanced mobility and weigh less than the current generation spacesuits, allowing for increased mission times. The suits are also designed to accommodate nearly every astronaut body type and can rapidly incorporate new technologies.

Spacesuits are much more than a set of clothes worn by astronauts. The kind being produced by Collins Aerospace will be worn on spacewalks, or outside of a spacecraft. This is essentially a miniature spaceship shaped like a human body, protecting the astronaut from the dangers of being outside a vehicle while in space or on the Moon. Whilst spacewalking, astronauts are exposed to radiation, dust, debris and extreme temperatures. Temperatures on spacewalks vary from -157°C to 121°C in the sunlight. The suit therefore provides the correct pressure for the body whilst supplying astronauts with water to drink and oxygen to breathe.

“Astronauts returning to the moon and venturing beyond need a spacesuit that’s as modern as their new missions,” said Dan Burbank, Senior Technical Fellow at Collins Aerospace and former NASA astronaut. “The next-gen spacesuit is lighter, more modular, a better fit and easily adaptable, which means that wherever the journey into space may lead, our crew will be ready.

Collins Aerospace designed the first spacesuit that allowed astronauts to walk on the moon, as well as the suit NASA astronauts currently use when operating outside the International Space Station.

“Collins was there when the first man walked on the moon, and we’ll be there when humankind goes back,” said Phil Jasper, President of Mission Systems for Collins Aerospace.

“We are excited to return to the Moon and build on our 50-year legacy of supplying EVA suits to NASA from the Apollo program to today on the International Space Station,” said Patty Stoll, President of Space Systems at ILC Dover. “We look forward to partnering with NASA as their lunar spacesuit provider and inspiring the next generation through Artemis as we work to send the first woman and next man to the Moon.”

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