Axiom Space was chosen by NASA to design its moonwalking spacesuit system for the Artemis III mission, according to the space agency.
Artemis III, which is slated for launch some time in 2025, will land Americans on the moon for the first time in over 50 years.
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This is the first competitive spacesuit contract awarded for the next-generation Artemis spacesuit and its supporting systems “to demonstrate their use on the lunar surface”, NASA said.
According to their release, NASA reviewed proposals from two eligible spacesuit vendors and ultimately selected Axiom Space, which has a base value of $228.5 million.
NASA also said that a future task order will be competed for recurring spacesuit services to support future Artemis missions.
“NASA is proud to partner with commercial industry on this historic mission that will kickstart the United States building a lasting presence on the surface of the Moon,” Lara Kearney, manager of NASA’s Extravehicular Activity and Human Surface Mobility program, said. “What we learn on Artemis III and future missions on and around the Moon will pave the way for missions to Mars. Spacesuits enable us to literally take that next step.”
NASA noted that Axiom Space will be required to test the suits in a spacelike environment before the Artemis III mission.
Future task orders under the contract will consist of recurring lunar landings, the development of spacesuits for use in low-Earth orbit outside the International Space Station and special studies, NASA said in it’s press release.
The Artemis program is set to pave the way for “long-term, sustainable lunar presence” and provide experts with valuable data that could be used as a stepping stone for future astronaut missions to Mars, NASA explained.
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