1 min read

NASA astronauts will soon have the opportunity to wear Prada spacesuits

Commercial space company Axiom Space has revealed a surprising collaboration with the Italian fashion brand Prada to design spacesuits for NASA astronauts. These Prada spacesuits will be worn by astronauts during NASA’s 2025 Artemis III mission, marking the first manned lunar mission since Apollo 17 in 1972. While it might seem unconventional for a fashion brand to venture into spacesuit design, NASA is seeking innovative solutions to enhance astronaut safety and endurance during space travel, and Prada’s expertise in materials and design is expected to play a significant role.

Axiom Space CEO Micheal Suffredini justified the choice of Prada by highlighting the fashion brand’s technical proficiency in working with raw materials, manufacturing techniques, and innovative design concepts. These attributes are believed to bring advanced technologies that can enhance not only the comfort of astronauts on the lunar surface but also address human factors considerations that were absent in previous spacesuits.

Contrary to common perception, NASA has a history of collaborating with private companies to achieve mission objectives. An example cited is the Extravehicular Mobility Unit (EMU) used during the Apollo lunar missions in 1969. This spacesuit, known as the Apollo lunar spacesuit (A-7L), consisted of 25 layers of protective materials, with contributions from DuPont Chemical Company in the form of materials like Teflon, Mylar, Lycra spandex, nylon, and silica fiber.

The A-7L weighed approximately 81 lbs on Earth with its primary life support system or 30 lbs under the Moon’s gravity. This suit could withstand temperatures ranging from -250°F to +230°F (-156.7°C to 110°C) and included a repair kit attached to its exterior, allowing astronauts to address tears and holes without returning to the lunar module.

Prada’s involvement in designing spacesuits is expected to result in suits that can sustain astronauts for longer periods than previous versions, aligning with NASA’s goals of extended lunar stays. NASA is actively exploring ways to develop lunar infrastructure, including the LunA-10 project in collaboration with the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) and 3D printing of lunar homes with construction technology firm ICON.

In summary, the collaboration between Axiom Space, Prada, and NASA represents a unique partnership that aims to harness fashion expertise to enhance spacesuit technology for future lunar missions, setting the stage for extended lunar exploration and the potential establishment of lunar communities.

Leave a Reply