NASA is on the brink of an unbelievably exciting time in space exploration. Humanity has discovered unbelievably interesting things on Mars and other bodies in our solar system, and new spacecraft are in development that will enable people to travel faster and further than ever before. With all this, you may think that astronaut wardrobe is NASA's least concern, but you could not be wrong.
A new space suit for astronauts to carry on the moon during long-range missions and possible surface visits even Mars is missing in action. The suits worn by NASA astronauts during spacewalks at the International Space Station are total relics, and the latest suits worn on the surface of something other than the Earth (the Moon) are now collecting dust in museums. That's a problem.
As the Daily Beast reports, the situation is more sinister than anyone would expect. The current extravehicular activity (EVA) that astronauts wear outside the ISS is massive and bulky, and their design has hardly changed since the 1
NASA has outsourced the design of new space suits to different contractors, and these projects have resulted in prototypes that seem to be a big step forward. None of these projects has actually resulted in fully functional hardware, according to a recent government audit. These projects bring NASA 200 million dollars back, but there's nothing they could show, but some prototypes of what a new space suit might look like.
Knowing rapidly approaching plans for a lunar hop point for space missions and traveling to places like Mars, what the crew will actually carry during these voyages is crucial. It is quite clear that the decisions about a new space suit are lagging behind schedule – which is becoming a trend in this new space race – and astronauts who will take over these missions would certainly like to know what they will wear.