NASA and Axiom Space are finally ready to show what Artemis III astronauts will wear when they walk on the Moon. The two have unveiled a prototype spacesuit that crews will use for moonwalks near the lunar South Pole. As promised, the design is meant to accommodate a wider range of body types. It's also more flexible than past suits, and includes exploration-oriented tools.
The helmet includes both lights and an HD camera to share experiences. Astronauts enter the suit through a hatch in the life support backpack. More joints let wearers kneel and otherwise move around with ease, while the gloves are designed for extended use in microgravity. The design can handle the extreme cold of permanently shadowed areas on the Moon, even down to the boots.
Before you ask: no, the black version isn't what you'll see in use. The cover, crafted by For All Mankind's costume designer, is meant to hide the proprietary design underneath. The finished spacesuit will be white to protect astronauts against extreme heat.
The Artemis III mission is currently slated for December 2025. It will represent the first crewed lunar landing since Apollo 17 touched down in 1972, and is poised to include the first woman to walk on the Moon as well as the first person of color. The two people who reach the surface will stay there for just under a week and carry out as many as four moonwalks that include rover expeditions and ice sample collection. Two other crew members will remain aboard an Orion capsule that will collect the crew when it returns using a SpaceX Starship.
This spacesuit isn't the only one NASA will necessarily use. Other vendors are competing for orders that would handle future Moon landings and International Space Station activities. However, it might be the highest-profile example — it'll be the one that helps NASA make history.