The following generation of NASA moon explorers should be able to move a lot more quickly in the low-gravity environment due to essential improvements in spacesuit technology. NASA also highlighted some of these changes this week.
“Bunny-hopping Apollo astronauts are fun to watch; however, the effort required to move around that way was more than NASA would have preferred for their explorers who have been 250,000 miles from home,” the space agency mentioned in a release.
The new suits will permit higher joint rotation and flexibility on the hips and knees. The hiking-inspired boots may have flexible soles. Shoulders wich are Redesigned will allow astronauts to lift objects above their heads and fully rotate their arms to the wrist.
The next-generation suits will look much like those astronauts wear for spacewalks at the International Space Station. NASA is planning to take 3D body scans of astronauts and then combine and match modular spacesuit parts for a custom fit.
NASA expects to return humans to the moon in 2024 with its Artemis mission. That is a bold timeline for a program that has facing delays.
The space agency intends to build the first of these new spacesuits itself before handing the production off to private industry. The outfits should give astronauts much more comfort and mobility on the moon. We might need to live without an Artemis blooper reel; however, that is a worthy trade-off.