WASHINGTON- On Tuesday, NASA showed off two new spacesuits tailored for future moonwalking astronauts, signalling development of a crucial component to the space agency`s accelerated drive to return to the moon by 2024.
Two NASA engineers strutted on a stage inside the agency`s Washington, DC headquarters, donning the new spacesuits, modelling and doing squats and crunches in front of a crowd of students and reporters to reveal what the first zero-gravity space-wear under NASA`s Artemis moon programme would look like.
"This is the first suit we`ve designed in about 40 years," Chris Hansen, a manager at NASA's spacesuit design office, said.
"What you saw today was a prototype of the pressure garment. The life support system is back in a lab in Houston," he said. "We want systems that allow our astronauts to be scientists on the surface of the moon"
The new suits make it much easier to walk, bend and squat when walking on the lunar surface, Amy Ross, NASA`s lead spacesuit engineer, said.
“Basically, my job is to take a basketball, shape it like a human, keep them alive in a harsh environment, and give them the mobility to do their job,” she said.