Pablo de Leon, a space engineer, knows that astronauts need new spacesuit for Moon and Mars missions, so he designed two spacesuit prototypes. NASA wants to return to the Moon no later than 2024, so it should start moving.
Why did he choose to do this?
NASA finances a lab at the University of North Dakota which is dedicated to crewed space flight. Its director, who is the before-mentioned Argentine engineer, said that de decision to reach the Moon was taken suddenly by NASA so this is why they still do not have new spacesuits suitable for such a mission.
Even though the goal is to reach the Moon in about four years, it was in 1977 when the last spacesuit was designed. This is what de Leon told AFP during a recent visit to the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The last time a suit was designed was in the 1970s, which means that the suits that the American astronauts are wearing on the International Space Station have been patched ever since. They are not suitable for surface exploration, and only a few of them can be used for work.
Astronauts need new spacesuits for future Moon and Mars missions
The development of the lander, capsule, and rocket that will take astronauts to the Moon is NASA’s focus at the moment and later will be the suit. However, de Leon considers NASA’s current overall budget of around $21 billion a year not enough to make this happen by 2024.
Regarding the Moon, De Leon and his teams have developed the NDX-2 while the NDX-1 is for Mars. The new spacesuits need to regulate humidity, temperature, the pressure so it makes it as complex as a spacecraft because it also holds communications systems and protects astronauts against radiation.
Lena Pierce is a reporter for Great Lakes Ledger. After graduating from Ryerson In Toronto, Lena got an internship at CBC radio in Calgary. Lena was also a beat reporter for the Calgary Flames. Lena mostly cover sports and community events. Contact Lena here.