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).
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