Following reviewing proposals from two eligible spacesuit vendors, NASA tapped Axiom Space to provide a moonwalking system for the Artemis III mission. The mission will enable Americans to set foot on the Moon’s surface for the first time in more than 50 years.
Additionally, the mission will land the first woman and first person of colour on the Moon.
The award is for a task order to create a next-generation Artemis spacesuit and supporting systems and to demonstrate their use on the lunar surface during Artemis III.
With this award, NASA has added yet another pillar to its plan to send astronauts back to the Moon as part of the Artemis mission to support ongoing scientific advancements that will benefit people on Earth.
“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. 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’s Extravehicular Activity and Human Surface Mobility program manager Lara Kearney said.
NASA established the technical and safety specifications for the following generation of spacesuits using over 50 years of spacesuit experience. The spacesuit and support equipment for Artemis III will be designed, developed, qualified, certified, and produced by Axiom Space in accordance with these important agency requirements.
Experts from NASA will continue to be in charge of mission planning, astronaut training, and service system approval. Before Artemis III, Axiom Space will be required to test the suits in a spacelike environment.
Under the Exploration Extravehicular Activity Services contract, which has an indefinite delivery and indefinite quantity, qualified industry partners compete for task orders that will offer a comprehensive set of capabilities for NASA’s spacewalking and moonwalking requirements during the performance period through 2034.