NASA’s Costly, Delayed Mission To Update Its Spacesuits
In 2010, Portland State University anthropologist Cameron Smith taught himself how to sew. He was not developing his own line of socks or winter hats. He was making a spacesuit.
Smith’s creation, made from a few thousands dollars’ worth of common items such as flameproof textiles, fasteners, chemical painting gloves, and pie tins, got him safely to 25,000 feet in a hot air balloon. His ultimate goal is the Armstrong limit, 63,000 feet from Earth’s surface, where atmospheric pressure is so low that the boiling point for water is the temperature of the human body.
Although that’s not quite the surface of the moon, Smith’s project embodies characteristics that are essential for space exploration. NASA could use more people like him.
In June 2022, NASA chose Axiom Space and Collins Aerospace to compete for the new moonwalker project. By fostering competition and encouraging companies to collaborate, NASA is hoping to drive down the cost of spacesuits.
Thus far, commissioning new extravehicular mobility units (EMUs) has been a sunk-cost
Article from Reason.com