Standing in front of a giant United States flag, spacesuit engineer Kristine Davis wore a pressurized red, blue and white xEMU suit, showing off a vastly improved range of motion thanks to bearings systems on the waist, arms, and legs.
NASA revealed their new spacesuits at a press conference on Tuesday, with NASA's administrator Jim Bridenstine hosting the event.
Astronaut Christina Koch had planned to spacewalk with Anne McClain but because McClain preferred a medium suit and there was only one available, NASA swapped Koch for astronaut Nick Hague on the walk.
The xEMU features added protection from something astronauts learned during the Apollo missions of the late 1960s and early 1970s - the fine, glass-like dust on the moon has a tendency to infiltrate life support systems.
The suits improve on the technology used in the Apollo suits as well as those now used by astronauts on the International Space Station. The xEMU was also created to allow for a more comfortable fit and the ability to move the suit's arms in a full circle.
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Called xEMU, these new suits are free-size, capable of fitting anyone from "the first percentile female to the 99th percentile male", according to Amy Ross, a space suit designer present at the demonstration. The spacesuits are also made to fit any woman or man. Ultimately, what enables us to do is then take the resources that the taxpayers give us, and go to the Moon and on to Mars, always keeping an eye on commercialisation even there.
"We don't want to be in the suit-building business", one NASA designer said. Part of that process involves upgrading the classic spacesuits worn by Apollo-era astronauts in the 1960s and 70s.
NASA says the focus of this entire operation is on reusability and building a sustainable presence on the lunar surface.
The suit's advanced mobility that enables them to accomplish much more complex tasks on the Moon's surface is partly attributed to its joint bearings, instead of zippers, on the lower torso and upper torso.
Design and production of the suit is also expected to invigorate the private sector. Because the suits are not meant to be worn outside of the Orion crew capsule, they're allowed to be far sleeker and flexible.
One of the most exciting aspects of these new suits, at least ostensibly, is the fact that they'll be custom-tailored to their wearers.
"We are going to the moon in 2024, but we're doing it in a way that's never been done before, said NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine". Which seems odd considering a flight-rated NASA spacesuit can cost $12 million. It will also modify them for future Mars missions.