NASA has selected Axiom Space and Collins Aerospace for spacesuit contracts

Updated East at 7pm and added additional contract details.

Washington — NASA has awarded Axiom Space and Collins Aerospace a contract to provide spacesuits for the International Space Station EVA and Artemis lunar swimming, with many technical or financial details for both agents and award-winning companies. Did not provide.

NASA announced on June 1 that it has selected two companies for the Exploration Extravehicular Activity Service (xEVAS) contract to support the development of new spacesuits and the purchase of spacesuit services. Both companies own the suits they have developed and can effectively rent them to NASA for space stations and Artemis missions while also offering suits to other customers.

NASA officials are briefing on the award with the goal of preparing the lunar spacesuit for the Artemis March landing mission, which is currently scheduled by 2025. NASA will also carry out an “orderly transition” from the existing decades ago. At the same time from the ISS suit to the new suit.

NASA had previously planned to develop suits in-house through an initiative known as the Extravehicular Mobility Spacesuit (xEMU), but a competitive service based on the outcome of commercial cargo and crew transportation. Shifted the gear to the model. NASA supports enterprises by making xEMU data and other features available to them.

Lara Kearney, director of NASA’s Johnson Space Center EVA and Human Surface Movement Program, said: “We were in the best place to migrate just because xEMU was mature at the time.”

Axiom aimed to work with a team of companies such as David Clark Company, KBR, and Paragon Space Development Corporation to develop spacesuits to support the planning of commercial space stations.

“There are already a lot of customers who want to do EVA,” Michael Suffredini, President and Chief Executive Officer of Axiom, said at the briefing. “It’s great to have a partnership that can benefit from all the work NASA has done to advance its years of experience and design.”

Collins Aerospace plans to work with ILC Dover and Oceania Ring to leverage its experience, including the development of Apollo’s moonwalk suit and the spacesuit used in ISS EVA today.

Dunbarbank, Senior Technical Fellow of Collins, said:

Former astronaut Burbank and former NASAISS program manager Suffredini to meet a wide range of NASA suit requirements, including compatibility with astronauts as high as 5th percentile women to 95th percentile men. Emphasized its commitment.

However, the two companies provided few technical details about the design of the suit, NASA didn’t even have an illustration of the award-winning design, and instead wore a suit that wasn’t necessarily associated with either company2. I decided to publish an illustration of a human moon-walking astronaut. Collins later released some illustrations of the proposed suit and an image of its design being tested in the lab.

The total amount of the xEVAS contract is $ 3.5 billion by 2034, which assumes that all task orders will be fulfilled. At the briefing, NASA officials said the procurement source selection statement, due out in late June, would include the information and refused to reveal the total between the two companies. In many other commercial sources, NASA has announced to companies the value of individual awards.

NASA spokesman Rebecca Wickes later told SpaceNews that individual contract amounts would not be disclosed in a source selection statement. Instead, the document lists the difference in price percentages compared to other bidders.

NASA’s Mark Wiese, who chaired the xEVAS Source Selection Committee, said: competition. He did not disclose those guaranteed amounts.

“NASA protects the continued competitiveness of this contract, while the uniqueness of the commercial solution protects the minimum contract guarantee and / or the exact amount awarded for individual task orders.” Wicks said.

NASA said in a statement that companies had “invested a significant amount of their own money” in development, but did not disclose those amounts. Burbank said he wasn’t sure how much the company spent because it focused on the technical side of spacesuit development. The recent work on the xEVAS contract is “just the latest version of an ongoing investment in internal R & D,” he said.

Suffredini said Axiom’s suit development is entirely internally funded. “Now you have to go to understand what it is,” he said.

The two companies said they plan to have spacesuits that can be tested on the ISS and Artemis 3 missions by the mid-2020s, but another company plans to test their spacesuits in orbit earlier. As part of the Polaris program, announced in February and funded by billionaire Jared Isaacman, SpaceX is developing a version of the Crew Dragon pressure suit that can be used for EVA. The suit will be tested in the Polaris Dawn mission scheduled for later this year.

Leave a Comment