It looks like it was yanked straight out of “Mass Effect.”
Rent the Runway
From tuxes to spacesuits — these days, you can really rent anything.
That’s the deal for NASA’s anxiously-awaited and long-overdue Artemis lunar mission, which, as Space.com notes, will see astronauts walking the Moon in suits designed and rented out by the space tourism company Axiom Space.
The NASA contractor showed off a prototype of its brand new spacesuit today — a design created by the costume designer of Apple TV’s hit sci-fi show “For All Mankind” — meant to be used by NASA astronauts during the agency’s upcoming crewed missions to the Moon.
But instead of owning the suit, as was the case for NASA’s spacesuits during the Apollo missions, Axiom Space will “rent” the suits to the space agency, according to Space.com.
“We’re carrying on NASA’s legacy by designing an advanced spacesuit that will allow astronauts to operate safely and effectively on the moon,” Axiom Space president Mike Suffredini said in a statement. “Axiom Space’s Artemis III spacesuit will be ready to meet the complex challenges of the lunar south pole and help grow our understanding of the moon in order to enable a long-term presence there.”
While he didn’t explicitly mention it, we’re sure that the $228.5 million task order for the new spacesuits as part of NASA’s $1.26 billion contract with the company sweetens the deal, too.
The suit has an unusual design that immediately drew comparisons to popular culture.
As Space.com‘s editor-in-chief Tariq Malik noted on Twitter, the sleek orange and black prototypes look a whole lot like the ones worn by characters in the hit video game “Fortnite,” though it “could use more purple lights.”
Designed by engineers at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston, the Axiom Extravehicular Mobility Unit — whose acronym, AxEMU, could double as a potential name for Elon Musk’s next baby — has all kinds of badass tech specs and is, per the company’s press release, “built to provide increased flexibility, greater protection to withstand the harsh environment and specialized tools to accomplish exploration needs and expand scientific opportunities.”
Axiom also revealed that it worked with costume designer Esther Marquis — who, per her IMDb page also worked on “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the 10 Rings” and Robert Rodriguez’s 2007 grindhouse vehicle “Planet Terror” — to create the futuristic spacesuits.
The whole thing is, indeed, incredibly exciting — though it’s kind of hilarious that NASA is going to rent the spacesuits like they’re tuxedos.
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