From the runway to the moon: Astronauts on the next NASA lunar mission are going to be fashionably styled in Prada spacesuits.
The Italian luxury label announced its collaboration with Axiom Space to develop the lunar spacesuits for NASA's Artemis III mission, which is scheduled for 2025.
"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,” said CEO of Axiom Space Michael Suffredini in a press release.
Axiom stated that the Axiom Extravehicular Mobility Unit (AxEMU) spacesuit will equip astronauts with cutting-edge capabilities for space exploration and meet NASA's “human system needs” for astronauts to be able to “live and work” on the moon.
“Our decades of experimentation, cutting-edge technology, and design know-how — which started back in the 90s with Luna Rossa challenging for the America’s Cup — will now be applied to the design of a spacesuit for the Artemis era. It is a true celebration of the power of human creativity and innovation to advance civilization,” said Prada Group Marketing Director Lorenzo Bertelli.
Historically, suits were tailored for males with bulkier materials and heavier gear, but Prada is hoping to design the suits with more flexibility in mind, improved protection against harsh conditions, and the incorporation of specialized tools for easier exploration. The Axiom contract for the suit design is valued at $228.5 million.
The upcoming Artemis III mission marks the first crewed lunar landing since Apollo 17 in December 1972, and it will also be the first to land a woman and a person of color on the moon.
The astronauts on the mission will be Jeremy Hansen, Victor Glover, commander Reid Wiseman, and Christina Koch.
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