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Prada to help design Nasa’s next-gen space suits for Artemis astronauts

Prada to help design Nasa’s next-gen space suits for Artemis astronauts

Prada is teaming up with commercial company Axiom Space to develop next-generation space suits for Nasa’s 2025 Artemis III mission which will attempt to put boots on the Moon.

The 2025 mission is expected to be the first to put a woman on the Moon and the first crewed lunar landing since Apollo 17 in December 1972.

Engineers at Italian luxury fashion designer Prada will be working alongside those at Axiom Space systems throughout the design process of the suits, the commercial space company said.

Together, they will develop materials and design features to protect astronauts against the unique challenge of space and the lunar environment, Axiom Space noted.

“We are thrilled to partner with Prada on the Axiom Extravehicular Mobility Unit (AxEMU) spacesuit,” the company’s chief Michael Suffredini said in a statement.

“Prada’s technical expertise with raw materials, manufacturing techniques, and innovative design concepts will bring advanced technologies instrumental in ensuring not only the comfort of astronauts on the lunar surface, but also the much-needed human factors considerations absent from legacy spacesuits,” Mr Suffredini said.

New space suit carried out during Axiom Space Artemis III Lunar Spacesuit event in Houston on 15 March. The space suit seen here however is ‘a cover layer currently being used for display purposes only to conceal the suits proprietary design’, as per Axiom (AFP /AFP via Getty Images)
New space suit carried out during Axiom Space Artemis III Lunar Spacesuit event in Houston on 15 March. The space suit seen here however is ‘a cover layer currently being used for display purposes only to conceal the suits proprietary design’, as per Axiom (AFP /AFP via Getty Images)

The next generation space suits are expected to provide astronauts with advanced capabilities for space exploration.

They will also be required to provide Nasa astronauts systems needed to access, live and work on and around the Moon.

Chief engineer Jim Stein wears the new space suit during the Axiom Space Artemis III Lunar Spacesuit event on 15 March this year. The suit seen here is  a ‘cover layer currently being used for display purposes only to conceal the suits proprietary design’, as per Axiom (AFP /AFP via Getty Images)
Chief engineer Jim Stein wears the new space suit during the Axiom Space Artemis III Lunar Spacesuit event on 15 March this year. The suit seen here is a ‘cover layer currently being used for display purposes only to conceal the suits proprietary design’, as per Axiom (AFP /AFP via Getty Images)

Earlier this year, Nasa unveiled the prototype design for the Artemis III spacesuits.

As part of the mission, a Nasa astronaut crew would be taken to the Moon aboard the Orion spacecraft and spend weeks on the lunar surface.

SpaceX has been selected to provide the human landing system to transport the astronauts from Orion in lunar orbit to the surface of the Moon and then back again.

The mission’s advanced space suits are expected to give astronauts an increased range of motion and flexibility to explore more of the Moon’s landscapes than on previous missions.

Working on Nasa’s design, Axiom Space said the spacesuits are created to provide increased flexibility, greater protection to withstand the harsh environment and specialised tools for exploration and scientific opportunities to enable “greater exploration of the lunar surface than ever before”.

“The constantly forward-thinking ethos of Prada for humanity has broadened to his desire of adventure and to brave new horizons: space,” said Prada’s marketing director Lorenzo Bertelli.

“We are honored to be a part of this historic mission with Axiom Space. Our decades of experimentation, cutting-edge technology and design know-how will now be applied to the design of a spacesuit for the Artemis era. It is a true celebration of the power of human creativity and innovation to advance civilization,” Mr Bertelli said.