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NASA awards Axiom & Collins Aerospace contracts to build spacesuits

Capitalism in space: NASA yesterday awarded separate contracts to two different companies, Axiom and Collins Aerospace, to build spacesuits for its astronauts, either when they do spacewalks in space or when they are exploring the lunar surface.

The contract enables selected vendors to compete for task orders for missions that will provide a full suite of capabilities for NASA’s spacewalking needs during the period of performance through 2034. The indefinite delivery and indefinite quantity, milestone-based xEVAS contract has a combined maximum potential value of $3.5 billion for all task order awards. The first task orders to be competed under the contract will include the development and services for the first demonstration outside the space station in low-Earth orbit and for the Artemis III lunar landing.

Each partner has invested a significant amount of its own money into development. Partners will own the spacesuits and are encouraged to explore other non-NASA commercial applications for data and technologies they co-develop with NASA.

More information can be found in each companies’ press release, located here (Axiom) and here (Collins).

These commercial contracts replace NASA’s own failed effort to make its own Artemis spacesuits, which spent fourteen years and more than a billion dollars before being abandoned by the agency because wouldn’t be able to deliver anything on time.

The contracts also continue NASA’S transition — as recommended in my 2017 policy paper Capitalism in Space [pdf] — from a failed space contractor to merely being the customer buying products from the commercial sector. The result is we now have a vibrant and ever growing private space sector with products available quickly and cheaply not only for NASA, but for others. The Axiom press release illustrates these facts with this quote:

The Axiom spacesuit is key to the company’s commercial space services. This new NASA contract enables Axiom to build spacesuits that serve the company’s commercial customers and future space station goals while meeting NASA’s ISS and exploration needs.

Conscious Choice cover

Now available in hardback and paperback as well as ebook!

 

From the press release: In this ground-breaking new history of early America, historian Robert Zimmerman not only exposes the lie behind The New York Times 1619 Project that falsely claims slavery is central to the history of the United States, he also provides profound lessons about the nature of human societies, lessons important for Americans today as well as for all future settlers on Mars and elsewhere in space.

 
Conscious Choice: The origins of slavery in America and why it matters today and for our future in outer space, is a riveting page-turning story that documents how slavery slowly became pervasive in the southern British colonies of North America, colonies founded by a people and culture that not only did not allow slavery but in every way were hostile to the practice.  
Conscious Choice does more however. In telling the tragic history of the Virginia colony and the rise of slavery there, Zimmerman lays out the proper path for creating healthy societies in places like the Moon and Mars.

 

“Zimmerman’s ground-breaking history provides every future generation the basic framework for establishing new societies on other worlds. We would be wise to heed what he says.” —Robert Zubrin, founder of founder of the Mars Society.

 

All editions are available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and all book vendors, with the ebook priced at $5.99 before discount. The ebook can also be purchased direct from my ebook publisher, ebookit, in which case you don't support the big tech companies and I get a bigger cut much sooner.

 

Autographed printed copies are also available at discount directly from me (hardback $24.95; paperback $14.95; Shipping cost for either: $5.00). Just email me at zimmerman @ nasw dot org.

2 comments

  • Gary

    Since SOL already is taken, I hope these are SOS!

  • Doubting Thomas

    I had wonder what happened to Dover LLC who used to build the Apollo flight & EVA pressure suits. They seem to have partnered with Collins Aerospace in this venture.

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