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[read] NASA unveils new spacesuit that will better fit women

NASA has unveiled the first prototype for a newly designed “next generation” spacesuit and it’s been designed to enable the first woman to walk on the moon in the next few years.

The new spacesuit, called Axiom Extravehicular Mobility Unit (AxEMU), has been designed to be able to fit a broad range of crew members, accommodating at least 90 per cent of the male and female population, according to NASA.

The spacesuits will be used for the Artemis mission, the successor to the Apollo program. Through Artemis, NASA has pledged to send the first woman and first person of colour to the moon.

“Building on NASA’s years of research and expertise, Axiom’s next generation spacesuits will not only enable the first woman to walk on the Moon, but they will also open opportunities for more people to explore and conduct science on the Moon than ever before,” said NASA Administrator Bill Nelson in a statement.

The new spacesuits come four years after NASA was forced to cancel its first all-female spacewalk due to there not being enough appropriately sized space suits available for women on the International Space Station.

At the time, astronauts Anne McClain and Christina Koch were due to take their spacewalk together but it did not go ahead at the last minute when it became apparent the suits would fit them. The situation resulted in significant backlash, with Hillary Clinton tweeting “Make another suit”.

The newly designed spacesuits will will incorporate advances in life-support systems, pressure garments and avionics.

“Called the Axiom Extravehicular Mobility Unit, or AxEMU, the spacesuit builds on NASA’s spacesuit prototype developments and incorporates the latest technology, enhanced mobility, and added protection from hazards at the Moon,” a statement from NASA said.

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