Science

NASA to test the first of its new moonwalking spacesuits

PHOTO CREDITS: THE MERCURY NEWS

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has been developing a new moonwalking space-suit for the Artemis mission, which aims to put humans back on Earth’s Moon in 2024.

The new spacesuits are called xEMU, standing for Exploration Extravehicular Mobility Unit7. Although they are very similar to the ones used in the Apollo missions in the 1960s, the new xEMUs are much more versatile and useful than ever before. They are specially designed for the upcoming new missions, making surface exploration easier.  

The xEMU has a great list of new features. First of all, they guarantee the astronauts safety with a spacesuit capable of filtering the poisonous dust of the moon, being resistant to a range of temperatures between -418 (almost the absolute 0) and 482 degrees, as well as having a new backpack with a duplication of all the warning systems for total security against failure. Moreover, the new xEMU enables much greater agility without sacrificing security (protection against micrometeorites, radiation, and the low pressure of the moon). For example, the new suit includes many joint bearings that allow bending and rotating at the hips, a greater bending in the knees, lifting the hands even above the head, and reaching almost every part of the body, as you would be able on Earth, with your hands. Finally, a newly designed helmet will enable astronauts to communicate more clearly with their crewmates or to the Earth base.

Apart from the new xEMU, NASA also introduced a new suit for in-door high-risk situations, like launch and re-entry. These suits have been highly improved, just like the xEMU. The new features are the following: the helmet is lighter, stronger, and reduces noise. The suit is also easier to connect to the communication system, the suit is fire-resistant, it is easy and fast to put on, it removes the carbon dioxide that the astronaut exhales, and it is accompanied with a cooling system.

ARTICLE: SAMI CALVO

EDITOR: KYLE SMITH, SCIENCE EDITOR

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