NASA has selected two private companies that will develop and produce next-generation spacesuits for the upcoming Artemis Lunar Program and future missions to the International Space Station (ISS). The two companies are Axiom Space and Collins Aerospace.
The contract runs until 2034, and the two companies will earn a combined $3.5 billion for the order. The companies will be able to use NASA's know-how, and will own the spacesuits and be able to use them or the technology created for commercial missions.
According to representatives of Axiom Space and Collins Aerospace, the spacesuits are meant to fit a wide range of body types. In addition, they should be appropriately sized and tailored for women.
Today, NASA uses spacesuits that were developed back in the late 1990s. NASA began developing a new generation of space suits back in 2007, and since then has spent more than $400 million on this, but they are still not ready for use. Therefore, the space agency has decided to hand the job over to private companies, similar to other projects such as the delivery of astronauts to the ISS and the surface of the Moon.