How much does an astronaut suit cost

NASA spacesuits of the future: $ 80 million wasted

NASA paid more than 80 million US dollars to develop new spacesuits, although the associated program had long been discontinued and a concept of its own was being worked on internally. This is criticized in an investigation report for the US space agency, which also warns that the spacesuits on the ISS may not last until 2024.

It is said that this challenge would increase significantly if it were operated by 2028. Of the once 18 Extravehicular Mobility Units (EMU) on the ISS, only 11 are currently in use. They might not reach the end of the ISS. At the same time, NASA is still years away from using a successor. The space agency made the report loudly Ars Technica rejected as too critical.

Expired

The report issued by the Inspector General of NASA criticizes the fact that an order to develop a spacesuit for the company Oceaneering International was not canceled when US President Obama buried the associated Constellation program. A further 80.8 million US dollars were poured into the company, although NASA itself was also working on a space suit for the future.

The contract has now expired and there is no new space suit. Given the current state of development, there is also a real risk that the next-generation spacesuits will not be ready in time to be able to test them on the ISS before 2024. This is the year the ISS could be mothballed.

Essential for work in space

NASA astronauts and their western colleagues go on space walks in EMU spacesuits. Contrary to what the German name suggests, these are real challenges and, for example, necessary to carry out repairs on the International Space Station. In the not very mobile extravehicular mobility units, space travelers are protected from micrometeorites, for example. Russian cosmonauts have their own Orlan suits for such activities.

(mho)

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