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Tuesday, February 27, 2024

NASA awards “crossover” spacesuit process orders to Axiom and Collins

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WASHINGTON — NASA awarded process orders to 2 corporations already operating on spacesuits for the World Area Station and Artemis missions to increase choice variations in their fits.

NASA introduced July 10 that it issued process orders valued at $5 million each and every to Axiom Area and Collins Aerospace to start out design paintings on choice variations in their fits already in construction. Axiom’s process order starts paintings on a model of its swimsuit for the ISS whilst Collins will start design of a swimsuit meant for moonwalks.

NASA awarded contracts to the 2 corporations in June 2022 thru its Exploration Extravehicular Task Services and products program to enhance construction of recent Artemis and ISS spacesuits. NASA would then achieve spacesuit services and products relatively than the fits themselves, successfully renting them as opposed to proudly owning them.

The contracts, although, required the firms to compete for particular process orders for spacesuit construction. NASA awarded one process order to Axiom Area in September 2022 to increase an Artemis spacesuit, valued at $228.5 million. It awarded any other to Collins Aerospace in December 2022 for an ISS spacesuit, valued at $97.2 million.

The firms will use the brand new “crossover” process orders to evolve the fits they’re creating for one utility to the opposite. NASA mentioned in a remark that, after finishing preliminary design paintings, the company will then imagine exercising choices for additional swimsuit construction.

Doing so, the company mentioned, supplies redundancy via having a backup swimsuit for each the ISS and Artemis missions. “The usage of this aggressive means we can give a boost to redundancy, enlarge long term features, and extra spend money on the gap economic system,” mentioned Lara Kearney, supervisor of the Extravehicular Task and Human Floor Mobility Program on the Johnson Area Middle.

The awards may additionally extra intently align with the firms’ plans. Axiom, which received the unique process order for lunar spacesuits, could also be creating a industrial area station that can require spacewalks both for upkeep or to serve buyer necessities. Collins, which received the ISS swimsuit process order final December, had previous emphasised its paintings on lunar spacesuit designs.

“We’re excited so as to add our orbital spacesuits as an possibility for NASA,” Mark Greeley, EVA program supervisor at Axiom Area, mentioned in an organization remark. The corporate mentioned paintings on a low Earth orbit model of its spacesuit is already underway.

“Our next-generation spacesuit design is just about 90% suitable with a lunar undertaking,” mentioned Dave Romero, director of EVA and human area mobility methods at Collins, in an organization remark. “This formal contract award will enhance persisted efforts to switch our next-generation spacesuit, making it appropriate to duties at the moon.”

Axiom mentioned that the entire price of this new process order, if all choices are exercised, is $142 million over 4 years. Collins didn’t expose the entire price of its process order.

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