Axiom Space is teaming up with the Italian luxury fashion house Prada to design NASA’s lunar spacesuits for the Artemis III mission.
Planned for 2025, the first crewed lunar landing mission since Apollo 17 in December 1972 will also be the first to place a woman on the Moon.
The AxEMU spacesuit is designed to provide astronauts with advanced capabilities for space exploration while providing NASA with commercially developed human systems for accessing, living, and working on and around the Moon.
Under the new agreement, Prada’s engineers will work alongside the Axiom Space Systems team throughout the design process, developing solutions for materials and design features to protect against the unique challenges of space and the lunar surface.
“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,” said Michael Suffredini, CEO of Axiom Space.
The Axiom Space spacesuits are an evolution of NASA’s Exploration Extravehicular Mobility Unit (xEMU) spacesuit design and are created to provide increased flexibility, greater protection against the harsh environment, and specialized tools for exploration and scientific opportunities. With innovative technologies and design, these spacesuits are expected to enable greater lunar surface exploration than ever before.
“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. It is a true celebration of the power of human creativity and innovation to advance civilization,” said Lorenzo Bertelli, Prada Group Marketing Director, in an official statement.
Axiom Space is a well-known name in the space industry, with years of experience in carrying out missions to the International Space Station and running the world’s first commercial space station in low-Earth orbit. The company’s collaboration with Prada could potentially lead to a crossover between the space and fashion industries, although the final design of the new spacesuits is yet to be revealed.