Prada will help design NASA spacesuits


The Italian luxury fashion house is teaming up with commercial space company, Axiom House, to design NASA lunar spacesuits for its Artemis III mission.
The new AxEMU custom glove design will enable astronauts to work with specialized tools to accomplish exploration needs and expand scientific opportunities. Image source: Axiom Space

The new partnership will see Prada’s engineers work alongside the Axiom Space systems team during the design process to develop solutions for materials and design features to protect astronauts from the lunar environment, Axiom says.

And it’s not Prada’s first foray outside of luxury fashion, with group marketing director, Lorenzo Bertelli, pointing to Prada’s construction of a cruising yacht to challenge the 30th America’s Cup on behalf of the Yach Clubt, Punta Ala.

“Our decades of experimentation, cutting-edge technology and design know-how – which started back in the ‘90s with Luna Rossa challenging for the America’s cup – will now be applied to the design of a spacesuit for the Artemis era,” Bertelli says.

The new spacesuit will be an advancement of NASA’s current Exploration Extravehicular Mobility unit (xEMU) design, with greater flexibility and protection to withstand the harsh environment, as well as specialised tools for exploration. It will be called the AxEMU spacesuit.

Axiom Space developed Axiom Station, the world’s first commercial space station in low-Earth orbit to sustain human growth off the planet, and says the AxEMU will offer NASA commercially developed human systems needed to access, live and work on and around the Moon.

“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,” Michael Suffredini, CEO of Axiom Space, says.

The Artemis III mission is slated for 2025, and will mark humanity’s first return to the lunar surface in more than 50 years. NASA hopes to make history with Artemis by sending the first humans to explore the region near the lunar South Pole, and land the first woman and first person of colour on the Moon.

NASA also recently revealed it’s planning to build houses on the moon by 2040, with several scientists from the agency telling the New York Times that the work is already underway.

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