We are still several years away from NASA sending humans back to the Moon, but if you plan such an intense mission, preparation takes a long, long time. One of the many things NASA is currently working on is the completion of their next generation space suit, which astronauts will wear during their moon excursions.
In a new update, NASA talks in detail about the work to ensure exploration The Extravehicular Mobility Unit (short xEMU) has the task to ensure the safety of astronauts in the study of the lunar surface.
The suit itself (pictured in a render above) resembles the spacesuits of astronauts who first visited the moon decades ago, and more closely the suits that ISS astronauts wear on spacewalks. NASA explains that it seems familiar from the outside, but only the interior counts.
In terms of freedom of movement, the new space suits offer greater flexibility for astronauts. This increased range of motion makes it easier for NASA crew to walk across the lunar surface, and hopefully minimizes the need for "bunny hopping," which is often seen in excerpts from the Apollo missions.
The Jumping Action This was the most natural way for astronauts to cross the Moon's low-gravity environment. It worked flawlessly at the time, but for astronauts it was not the most efficient way to consume their limited energy, and it led to some amusing falls. NASA hopes things will be different this time.
Before their mission, NASA astronauts will adapt their suits to their bodies and scan all movements to make sure the suit fits them perfectly. Due to its modular design, the suit is highly customizable, so that the astronauts stay comfortable and highly mobile during the mission.
The life support systems for the astronauts are still housed in a compact unit that rests on the back of the suit. NASA says that the hardware inside is much more advanced than it has been in the past few decades, with redundant systems ensuring the safety of astronauts, even if one or more components fails.
I'll wait a while before we go Watch those new suits in action, but whenever NASA is ready to send people back to the moon, they'll feel more comfortable than ever.