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Wed, Feb 14, 2024

Collins Aerospace Tests Next-Gen Space Suit

Mobility Checks Bear Out Prospective Design Ahead of Vacuum, Microgravity Testing

The Artemis Program seems to be taking forever and a day to bring out the next generation of EVA-worthy spacesuits for NASA, but finally some good news has hit the wire.

Collins Aerospace has successfully passed an important test on its way to becoming the face of the Artemis program after a microgravity mobility assessment. In an oscillating aircraft, a prototype suit was put through the paces in a series of mockup tunnels, hatches, and airlocks, checking the range of motion, size, and bulk of the suit as astronauts crawl, float, and maneuver their way through the ecosystem of spaceborne equipment.

The Collins design passed the exam, meaning it can now move on to vacuum testing to evaluate how well it acts in an space-like atmosphere. If it passes with full pressure integrity, the prototype will be taken out to the Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas, where it will be brought into the Neutral Buoyancy Laboratory for simulated spacewalks.

"The test allowed us to examine specific objectives of the design that can support a broad range of crewmember sizes and crew tasks in a controlled environment," said Peggy Guirgis, general manager overseeing Space Systems at Collins Aerospace.

"ILC Dover's pressure garment design leverages decades of innovation and experience to fit more astronauts than ever before, ensuring the safety and comfort of the next generation of space explorers," said Rob Reed, president of Space & Engineered Solutions at ILC Dover. "The successful test signals that we're one step closer to sustaining human life in space with the most advanced spacesuit yet."

FMI: www.nasa.gov

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