Prada spacesuits coming to NASA mission | Inquirer Technology

Prada spacesuits coming soon for NASA astronauts

08:41 AM October 09, 2023

Commercial space company Axiom Space announced it is working with Prada to design spacesuits for astronauts. The Italian-based fashion firm will design NASA’s spacesuits for its 2025 Artemis III mission, the first manned flight to the Moon since Apollo 17 in 1972. Prada will work with Axiom to develop materials and features to protect crews from harsh elements.

It may seem strange to have a company known for bags and clothing to make spacesuits. However, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration learned significant insights since its last Moon trip. It understands it needs new solutions to help astronauts stay safe longer in outer space, and a fashion brand may provide answers.

This article will elaborate on the purpose of deploying Prada spacesuits for the upcoming crewed lunar landing. Later, I will discuss the other ways NASA is preparing for that exploration.


Why would NASA use Prada spacesuits?

NASA's Choice: Prada Spacesuits

Most do not expect fashion and aeronautics to merge. Fortunately, Axiom Space CEO Micheal Suffredini explained why Prada is suitable for the Artemis III challenge:

“Prada’s technical expertise with raw materials, manufacturing techniques, and innovative design concepts will bring advanced technologies instrumental in ensuring not only the comfort of astronauts on the lunar surface but also the much-needed human factors considerations absent from legacy spacesuits.”

Contrary to popular belief, it isn’t the first time NASA has worked with companies to fulfill its missions. Autoevolution cited the space agency’s Extravehicular Mobility Unit from 1969 as an example.

Also known as the Apollo lunar spacesuit (A-7L), the decades-old suit comprised 25 layers of protective material. Most of these were courtesy of the DuPont Chemical Company. Here are some examples:

  • Teflon
  • Mylar
  • Lycra spandex
  • Nylon
  • Silica fiber, a fiberglass-like material that doesn’t irritate human skin

Besides DuPont, several US-based contractors worked together to build the Apollo EMU. Let’s discuss the suit’s features to illustrate the expectations for the Prada spacesuits.

The A-7L weighed around 81 lbs on Earth with its primary life support system attached or 30 lbs in the Moon’s gravity. The PLSS contained important life-sustaining hardware that made lunar exploration possible.


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The Apollo lunar spacesuit can tolerate -250°F to +230°F or -156.7°C to 110°C. More importantly, the EMU had a repair kit strapped to its exterior.

It enabled astronauts to fix tears and holes without returning to the lunar module. Instead, they can use exterior patches, cloth tape, and replacement gaskets.

More importantly, Autoevolution said the Apollo suit never had a significant failure while on the Moon. The website said, “Prada engineers will develop the all-important textile materials that insulate astronauts to an even higher standard than Apollo while taking into consideration more creature comforts not possible to apply 50 years ago.”

What are NASA’s other Moon projects?

NASA's Moon Projects Overview

Those Prada spacesuits should be capable of sustaining astronauts longer than in past explorations. NASA is serious about having humans stay for extended periods on the Moon.

It worked with the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) to launch the LunA-10 project. It seeks to gather ideas to support lunar infrastructure.

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In other words, the space agency wants to build structures and equipment to allow people to live on the Moon. DARPA Strategic Technology Office program manager Michael Nayak elaborated on the long-term plan:

“For 65 years, DARPA has pioneered and de-risked technologies vital to civil space advancement. LunA-10 continues this rich legacy by identifying and accelerating key technologies that may be used by government and the commercial space industry, and ultimately to catalyze economic vibrancy on the Moon.”

The space agency tapped another company to build houses on the Moon. NASA collaborated with construction technology firm ICON, which will use lunar soil as concrete for 3D printing home construction.

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NASA partnered with Axiom Space and Prada to produce high-tech spacesuits for its next manned lunar exploration. It would apply everything the space agency learned since its first Moon mission to create a superior suit.

It is a part of NASA’s plan to have people stay on the Moon for further research. More importantly, it plans to create communities on Earth’s rocky satellite.

I mentioned a few of the other related NASA projects, but there are more I couldn’t fit into this article. Learn more about them and other digital trends at Inquirer Tech.

TOPICS: interesting topics, Moon, NASA, Space, Trending
TAGS: interesting topics, Moon, NASA, Space, Trending

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