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Elon Musk proposes to develop lunar spacesuit after NASA is late

Spacesuit engineers unveiled a prototype of NASA’s xEMU suit for the Moonwalk on the Artemis mission in 2019.

Video screenshots by Amanda Kooser / CNET

NASA’s proposed 2024 date for landing humans on the moon has always felt very ambitious.Now new Report from NASA Inspector General NASA astronauts say the spacesuit they need for their efforts is not ready until April 2025 at the earliest. SpaceX founder Elon Musk suggested that his company could intervene in the support.

A report released on Tuesday points out delays in the development of Artemis lunar spacesuits due to lack of funding, the impact of COVID, and technical challenges. NASA had previously hyped the proceedings –Known as the Exploration Extravehicular Mobility Unit (xEMU)-2019.

NASA OIG is responsible for overseeing NASA’s programs and operations. “Given these expected delays in spacesuit development, NASA’s current planned lunar landing in late 2024 is not feasible,” the report said.

Musk responded to Tweet about spacesuit delay from CNBC space reporter Michael Sheets.. “SpaceX can do that if needed” Musk tweeted..

Sheetz pointed out that there are 27 different companies that supply suit components. “It seems that there are too many cooks in the kitchen.” Musk said..

NASA has worked with commercial providers on large-scale space projects, from delivering astronauts and cargo to the ISS to delivering hardware to the moon. In July, NASA said Musk’s SpaceX offering is within the scope of its potential as it accepts commercial partnerships “to optimize spacesuit technology and inspire pioneers in the space market.”


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NASA said it will continue to develop xEMU in-house in parallel with its procurement activities. The agency will announce a formal request for proposals for spacesuit and EVA support services later this year, with the goal of winning an award in early 2022.

The OIG report details the high numbers for xEMU development costs. NASA has already spent $ 420 million on the project with the initial goal of producing two flyable spacesuits by November 2024. Inspectors have suggested that the price of these spacesuits will exceed $ 1 billion by the time they are developed and assembled.

The Artemis program is a layered effort. NASA has been working on that SLS rocket Orion spacecraft to bring astronauts back to our lunar neighbors. NASA officially hopes to launch the Artemis I mission on the unmanned spacecraft later this year, but the rocket system is also lagging behind.

Sending a spacecraft to the moon is one thing, and safely carrying an astronaut to the moon and taking it home is another. The new spacesuit, which aims to significantly improve the mobility and comfort of astronauts compared to Apollo-era suits, is an important element of human lunar exploration. There are no spacesuits or moonwalks.

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Elon Musk proposes to develop lunar spacesuit after NASA is late

Source link Elon Musk proposes to develop lunar spacesuit after NASA is late

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