WASHINGTON, DC -- NASA is showing off their new spacesuits. The space agency unveiled two designs for the Artemis program that plans to put the first woman and next man on the moon by 2024.
NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine says the new suits are a big improvement over the old ones, "remember the Apollo generation, you remember Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin, the bunny hopped on the surface of the Moon. Well, now we're going to actually be able to walk on the surface of the Moon."
NASA engineer Amy Ross says the new suits need to be able to protect astronauts from extreme temperatures, "we normally try to plan for a thermal environment that ranges from 250 degrees Fahrenheit to minus 250 degrees Fahrenheit with some potentially colder spots in the south pole of the Moon."
One of the suits will be worn by astronauts during launch and re-entry in the Orion spacecraft. The other will be donned during activities on the moon's surface, which NASA says has improved mobility.
Ross says the new suits allow for a lot more arm movement, "so she's able to do a cross-reach and get across the suit, as well as reach overhead, which they can't do today, and they couldn't do during the Apollo program."
NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine says the ultimate goal is to reach Mars, "and in order to go to Mars, we need to use the Moon as a proving ground. We need to learn to live and work on the surface of another world for long periods of time, and in order to do that, friends, we need space suits."