Here's why NASA will rent space suits instead of building them

It's a $3.5-billion rental.
Derya Ozdemir

NASA announced on Wednesday that two companies, Axiom Space and Collins Aerospace, have been given contracts to develop the next generation of spacesuits for flights to the International Space Station and the moon. The next generation of suits will be more flexible, versatile and durable.

"History will be made with the suits when we get to the moon. We will have our first person of color and our first woman that will be wearers and users of these suits in space," Vanessa Wyche, director of NASA Johnson Space Center, said, per Phys.org.

Unlike previous space suit contracts, this one is for renting the suits for specific missions. This is a result of  NASA's internal development program, xEMU, repeatedly not being able to deliver a completed product. In the video embedded above, Scott Manley explains how NASA's xEMU was supposed to be building a space suit for lunar surface operations. Despite numerous extensive studies, however, the project never produced a suit that could be tested and used. If you want to learn more about this issue, make sure you watch the video above, and as always, enjoy.  

 

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