Axiom Unveils New Prototype Spacesuit For Artemis III Lunar Mission

The company responsible for producing the spacesuits astronauts will be wearing on NASA's next moon mission has just unveiled a prototype of the high-tech tailoring. Axiom Space's suit is designed to allow the next humans that set foot on the lunar surface to explore more than anyone else before them. Axiom landed the project last year, and could receive billions of dollars of funding by the time the missions are completed.

Mike Suffredini, Axiom Space president and CEO, explained how the suit will allow astronauts to survive a wide range of lunar conditions, stating: "We're carrying on NASA's legacy by designing an advanced spacesuit that will allow astronauts to operate safely and effectively on the moon. Axiom Space's Artemis III spacesuit will be ready to meet the complex challenges of the lunar south pole and help grow our understanding of the moon in order to enable a long-term presence there."

Artemis III is set to land at the moon's south pole, and will mark the first time humans have set foot on the moon in half a century. Although astronaut safety is paramount, Axiom's suit has been geared towards getting the most out of the groundbreaking mission. 

It's more flexible than other spacesuits, which means astronauts will be able to do a greater variety of tasks with more precision than previously. Moving around in the suit also requires less effort than its stiffer counterparts, and its durability has also been boosted.

This isn't what the final suit will look like

You may think another key difference between the new suits and the ones last worn on the moon is appearance-related. The prototype appears to be black, but that's not going to be the color of the final suit. That will be white, like the other NASA spacesuits you may have seen, and that color choice serves a practical purpose. 

The moon's atmosphere is so thin it's barely there, so the parts exposed to the sun can hit 250 degrees Fahrenheit, and the parts in the dark can get as cold as minus-208 degrees Fahrenheit. Spacesuits are white so they can reflect some of that extreme heat and prevent the astronauts inside from roasting.

The prototype is actually inside a "cover layer" designed by Esther Marquis, who also works on the Apple TV+ series "For All Mankind." Its color scheme and logos relate to Axiom Space's branding, and the cover layer is designed to "conceal the suit's proprietary design." 

In addition to the heat of the sun, dust is also a problem in the lunar environment. The suit has several features which help mitigate that, ensuring it can remain functioning properly. Increased sizing and adjustability is also central to the suit's design — meaning a broader range of humans can fit inside it and use it effectively. This will come in handy, given the wider range of astronauts taking part in the Artemis mission in 2025.