Collins Aerospace — along with ILC Dover and Oceaneering — have been selected to produce NASA’s next-generation spacesuit, which astronauts could wear when working outside the International Space Station and within the next decade on the moon.
NASA announced on June 1 that it selected the companies for Exploration Extravehicular Activity Services contracts to support the development of new spacesuits as well as purchasing spacesuit services. The companies will own the suits they develop and will effectively rent them to NASA for space station and Artemis missions, while also being able to offer the suits to other customers.
The new suits 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.
“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 in a news release. “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.