The National Aeronautics and Space Administration is leaving no stone unturned to make its next manned Moon mission a success. We are still several years away from the mission, but the preparation takes a long time when you are planning something big like this. In this series, the US space agency has prepared next-generation spacesuit for moonwalkers and recently released details of it. The spacesuit has been named Exploration Extravehicular Mobility Unit (xEMU). Not many differences will be visible from our naked eyes but the space agency noted it has some extraordinary features. The main aim of developing this new generation spacesuit is to keep our astronomers safe during lunar excursions. The mission, which has been named Artemis, will mark the first manned mission since Apollo 17 in 1972.
Explaining features of the new spacesuit, NASA said that though it looks similar to older suit from outside, it is what is inside that counts as this once is custom fit and hence it will provide greater flexibility to astronauts as far as freedom of movement is considered. This was achieved by carrying out 3D scans of astronauts while carrying out the basic movement. This new and significant change will make lunar excursions easier for astronauts. NASA hopes that this new feature will minimize the need for ‘bunny hopping,’ which one can see in video clips from the Apollo missions. This hopping caused some amusing tumbles in the past so NASA is hopeful that this will be a lot different in the next manned moon mission.
Apart from improving mobility, the new suit has some shoulder enhancements that let astronomers move their arms more freely. The xEMU has some additional features like it is designed to repel dust and soil and will prevent them from entering the suit. In addition to this, it will also protect astronauts from the extreme temperature in outer space. The life support system is more advanced and will ensure safety even if one or more components malfunctioned.