Collins backs out of ISS spacesuit contract with NASA

Collins Aerospace has exited a contract to develop new spacesuits for NASA following talks with the agency.

The contract was part of the xEVAS program, which saw awards to Collins and Axiom Space to develop up to four new spacesuit designs for both the International Space Station (ISS) in low Earth orbit and the Artemis moon program. Collins was to design suits for the ISS.

The development was first reported by Reuters on Wednesday (June 26). “Collins’ role in the program has been bumpy and development has fallen behind schedule, and the company has been in talks with NASA officials on how to wind down its role in the program,” Reuters reported, citing two people familiar with the discussions.

The agency provided an update on Wednesday. “After a thorough evaluation, NASA and Collins Aerospace have mutually agreed to descope the existing task orders on the Collins Exploration Extravehicular Activity Services contract,” NASA said in a statement.

Related: Watch next-generation lightweight spacesuit tested on Zero-G flight (photos, video)

“This descope includes ending the International Space Station suit demonstration, which was targeted for 2026. No further work will be performed on the task orders,” agency officials added. “This action was agreed upon after Collins recognized its development timeline would not support the space station’s schedule and NASA’s mission objectives.”

It’s unclear why Collins pulled out of the contract. The company earlier this year reported good progress on its ISS suit design in zero G parabolic flight testing. 


NASA is currently grappling with issues with its current ISS spacesuits. The latest instance occurred on June 24, when a coolant leak in astronaut Tracy Caldwell Dyson’s suit cut a spacewalk short. 

The agency stated Wednesday that the change to the xEVAS contract “has no impact on NASA’s spacewalking capabilities on the space station.”

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