NASA has selected Houston-based private space firm Axiom Space to deliver moonwalking spacesuits for Artemis III, the third leg of the Artemis Moon mission. Artemis III aims to land humans on the surface of the Moon for the first time in over 50 years.
NASA’s massive Space Launch System (SLS) rocket and Orion Space Capsule will carry astronauts into lunar orbit. From there, SpaceX’s Human Lander System (HLS) will ferry the astronauts to the Moon’s icy south pole. In Artemis III, the Orion capsule will connect to SpaceX’s HLS.
NASA’s award to Axiom Space is the first one under a competitive spacesuits contract. Axiom Space will develop a next generation Artemis spacesuit and supporting systems. The space firm will demonstrate the use of the moonwalking system on the surface of the Moon during Artemis III.
More About NASA’s Artemis Program
The Artemis Project is the first human mission since 1972. Through the Artemis Program, NASA aims to carry the first woman, and the first person of colour to the Moon, by 2024.
The first spaceflight that landed humans on the lunar surface was Apollo 11 on July 20, 1969, and the last one was Apollo 17 on December 11, 1972.
Artemis, the Goddess of the Moon in Greek Mythology after whom this project has been named, was the twin sister of Apollo.
The objective behind the Artemis Mission is that it will enable NASA to demonstrate new technologies on the Moon, which will pave the way for future exploration of Mars.
What Is The Role Of Axiom Space For Artemis III?
In a statement released by NASA, Lara Kearney, manager of NASA’s Extravehicular Activity and Human Surface Mobility program, said the US space agency is proud to partner with commercial industry on this historic mission that will kickstart with the US building a lasting presence on the surface of the Moon. She added that the knowledge acquired during Artemis III and future missions on and around the Moon will pave the way for missions to Mars, and spacesuits will enable NASA to literally take that next step.
NASA has more than 50 years of spacesuit expertise. Axiom Space’s responsibilities include the design, development, qualification, certification, and production of the spacesuits and support equipment. These will help meet NASA’s key requirements for Artemis III.
According to NASA, future task orders under the Exploration Extravehicular Activity Services contract will consist of recurring lunar landings, the development of spacesuits for use in low-Earth orbit outside the International Space Station (ISS), and special studies.
NASA is currently evaluating task order options for space station spacesuits.
On Thursday, September 8, NASA announced the possible dates for the launch of Artemis I. After calling it off twice, NASA is looking at September 23 and 27 as possible dates for the launch of the Artemis I moon mission, according to an official quoted by the news agency AFP.
Artemis I: NASA Looking At September 23 And 27 As Possible Dates For Launch Of Moon Mission
Artemis I will be an uncrewed test flight. Orion will be carried atop the super-heavy lift rocket, SLS, without any human in the capsule. If Artemis I is successful, it will be certified that the SLS and Orion can be used for the other two Artemis missions, which will be crewed flights.