Who would have thought the most significant obstacle facing NASA in their attempt to land astronauts on the moon for the first time since 1972 would come down to wardrobe?
It’s true, the planned lunar landing is being held up and delayed because the necessary spacesuits won’t be ready in time, which is a bit of a problem.
To try and speed the process up, NASA awarded contracts to two different private companies to create their space clothes. Axiom Space and Collins Aerospace were tasked with making suits for the astronauts that will keep them safe and hopefully look good too.
For the past 15 years, NASA has been trying to develop their own lunar suits but has spent so much money and had so little success that they could be considered the space version of American Apparel. Last August, NASA finally admitted its production schedule had suffered almost two full years of delays.
So the trip that was supposed to happen in 2024 has been pushed back several times, and now even 2025 sounds too optimistic.
Creating the spacesuits is easier said than done. Safety is the first priority, but they also met allow the astronauts to be mobile to conduct tests and experiments in a place with low gravity. That’s not all; the moon has no breathable air, which is a problem.
The projected cost of this project may surprise you. The two private companies signed contracts of around $3.5 billion to supply suits for NASA through 2034.