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The Moon landing mission Artemis III is scheduled for launch in 2025. It will be the first Lunar crewed mission after Apollo.

What is the development state of the moon suit to be used for moonwalks during Artemis? Are prototypes under test in vacuum chambers with sun simulators?

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    $\begingroup$ It's late here but I have a friend in the EVA office I will ask tomorrow. From things he has said before, it is not going well. $\endgroup$ May 26 at 1:54
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    $\begingroup$ I think there were some official or semi-official public (possibly off-the-record) comments recently, stating that based on current schedules the suits might cause Artemis III to be delayed. This might be one reason why outsourcing suits to commercial partners is being considered, comparable to what we already have with COTS, CRS, CCDev, CCP, CLPS, HLS, GLS, and so on. $\endgroup$ May 26 at 8:17

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It's not going well. There was a Government Accounting Office report issued on the project last year.

NASA’s current schedule is to produce the first two flight-ready xEMUs by November 2024, but the Agency faces significant challenges in meeting this goal. This schedule includes approximately a 20-month delay in delivery for the planned design, verification, and testing suit, two qualification suits, an ISS Demo suit, and two lunar flight suits. These delays—attributable to funding shortfalls, COVID-19 impacts, and technical challenges—have left no schedule margin for delivery of the two flight-ready xEMUs. Given the integration requirements, the suits would not be ready for flight until April 2025 at the earliest. Moreover, by the time two flight-ready xEMUs are available, NASA will have spent over a billion dollars on the development and assembly of its next-generation spacesuits.

Given these anticipated delays in spacesuit development, a lunar landing in late 2024 as NASA currently plans is not feasible. That said, NASA’s inability to complete development of xEMUs for a 2024 Moon landing is by no means the only factor impacting the viability of the Agency’s current return-to-the-Moon timetable. For example, our previous audit work identified significant delays in other major programs essential to a lunar landing, including the Space Launch System rocket and Orion capsule. Moreover, delays related to lunar lander development and the recently decided lander contract award bid protests will also preclude a 2024 landing.

NASA's Development of Next Generation Spacesuits

When this was written, less than a year ago, the complete suit (called the xEMU) had not progressed to any vacuum testing as shown in this graphic. A precursor version of its life support backpack (called the PLSS 2.0) had some runtime at vacuum, but not the final version (called the xPLSS).

enter image description here

In an attempt to recover, NASA has decided to try and procure a commercially developed rather than in-house designed suit.

...after NASA finished developing the new spacesuit in-house, the Agency would contract with industry for system production. However, after 18 months NASA canceled the xEVAPS RFI and issued a new RFI in April 2021 for the Exploration Extravehicular Activity Services (xEVAS)—significantly altering its approach for future suit production.

This new contract is supposed to be awarded at the end of this month. Start making the popcorn.

xEVAS Contract Schedule

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    $\begingroup$ So we may discuss the new contract in less than a week if everything goes well. $\endgroup$
    – Uwe
    May 27 at 7:40
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    $\begingroup$ @Uwe my friend said there is a press conference scheduled for June 1 at 1 pm US Central Daylight Time when the winner(s) will be announced. $\endgroup$ May 27 at 13:40
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    $\begingroup$ @Uwe they picked Axiom Space and Collins Aerospace. nasa.gov/press-release/… $\endgroup$ Jun 1 at 18:41

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