December 4, 2023
Fashion Space

Axiom Space and Prada to jointly develop spacesuits for NASA’s 2025 lunar mission

The collaboration draws on the core strengths of both private entities

Axiom Space, the Houston, Texas-based space company building the world’s first commercial space station, has announced a collaboration with Prada, the Italian luxury fashion house, to develop lunar spacesuits for NASA’s Artemis III astronaut mission.

In March 2023, Axiom Space revealed that it was developing the Axiom Extravehicular Mobility Unit (AxEMU) next-generation spacesuit for NASA’s astronauts returning to the lunar surface.

NASA’s Artemis III mission, set for 2025, aims to place the first person of colour and woman on the Moon in what is expected to be the first human lunar landing since NASA’s Apollo 17 mission in December 1972.

Partnership hailed

Michael Suffredini, CEO of Axiom Space, said: “We are thrilled to partner with Prada on the Axiom Extravehicular Mobility Unit (AxEMU) spacesuit.

“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,” Suffredini added.

The partnership is a first between a US space firm and an Italian luxury fashion house. Image: Axiom Space

Under the terms of the partnership, Prada’s engineers will collaborate with the Axiom Space Systems team throughout the design process, developing solutions for materials and design features to protect NASA’s astronauts from the hostilities of space and the lunar environment.

Lorenzo Bertelli, Group Marketing Director of Prada, said: “The constantly forward-thinking ethos of Prada for humanity has broadened its desire for adventure and to brave new horizons: space.

Design legacy

“We are honoured to be a part of this historic mission with Axiom Space. Our decades of experimentation, cutting-edge technology and design know-how – which started in the 1990s with Luna Rossa challenging for the America’s Cup – will now be applied to designing a spacesuit for the Artemis era. It celebrates the power of human creativity and innovation to advance civilisation,” said Bertelli.

Leveraging NASA’s Exploration Extravehicular Mobility Unit (xEMU) spacesuit design, the Axiom Space-Prada AxEMU spacesuits will provide NASA astronauts with advanced capabilities for space exploration, including being able to access, live and work on and around the Moon.

The AxEMU spacesuits are being created to provide NASA astronauts with increased flexibility than previous generation NASA spacesuits, more excellent protection to withstand the harsh space and lunar surface environment, and the capability for the astronauts to operate specialised tools for lunar exploration and scientific opportunities.

Using innovative technologies and design, the AxEMU spacesuits will enable NASA astronauts to explore the lunar surface more than ever.

Developing these next-generation spacesuits is a significant milestone in furthering NASA’s space exploration and will enable a deeper understanding of the moon, the solar system, and beyond.

Featured image: The new AxEMU custom glove design will enable NASA astronauts to work with specialised tools on the lunar surface. Image: Axiom Space

Last Updated on 2 months by Arnold Pinto

Arnold Pinto

Arnold Pinto

Arnold Pinto is an award-winning digital-first journalist with wide-ranging Middle East and Asia experience in the tech, space, aerospace, aviation, defence, luxury watchmaking, business, fashion, and automotive verticals. He is passionate about conserving endangered native wildlife globally and protecting the world’s oceans from plastic pollution, overfishing, and climate change. Arnold enjoys 4x4 off-roading and camping.
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