Today the US agency has taken a further step forward in the path that will lead the human race to return to the Moon more than half a century after Moon Day and to undertake the first manned missions to Mars. There NASA presented the space suits that will accompany the astronauts in their activities far from the Earth. The event was staged at the Washington headquarters.
NASA presents the xEMU and Orion space suits
There are two and it is possible to see them in the opening image as well as in the streaming video below. The first one, the one on the left (white, red and blue), is called Xemu. The acronym stands for Exploration Extravehicular Mobility Unit. To wear it Kristine Davis, engineer of the Johnson Space Center. The second, the one on the right (orange and blue), has instead been christened Orion Crew Survival System and under the darkened visor of the helmet is Dustin Gohmert, one of the men engaged during the planning phase.
With different characteristics, Orion will be used for launch and return phases of space vehicles or in emergency situations, while xEMU is designed forexploration of the lunar soil once they reach their destination, guaranteeing greater freedom of movement and being designed to be "modular", that is to say adaptable from time to time to different tasks with different configurations, depending on specific needs. The latter is also quite similar in appearance to what astronauts already wear when it is necessary to leave the International Space Station. In other words, it is an evolution of the one worn since the Apollo missions of several decades ago.
It should be pointed out that those shown today by NASA are prototypes. There will be time to perfect the final versions by subjecting them to stringent tests before everything is ready to return to the moon and to finally aim in the direction Mars.