How much does it cost astronauts? NASA has invested $ 1 billion in these

May seem to be space wear NASA Has rarely changed since then Neil Armstrong It took that small big step for humanity on the moon, but the space company is spending a lot of money on its development. In fact, the shocking amount $ 1 billion.

According to an audit report released on August 10, NASA’s Inspector General, National Aeronautics and Space Administration has spent $ 420 million since 2007 on space suite development. In addition, NASA plans to invest about $ 625 million in next-generation space suites. , Which brings the total cost to 10 figures.

NASA’s new astronaut cases

With a portion of the substantial amount, NASA is preparing two space suits for the Artemis project, which will include a manned mission to the moon in 2024.

Called the Extravehicular Mobility Exploration Unit (xEMU), they are equipped with the latest and best technology that can provide billions of dollars, including cameras, lights and a life support system. Each team has 27 different parts supplied by different contractors and suppliers.

Christine Davis, a space suit engineer at the NASA Johnson Space Center, is a ground-based xEMU prototype.
NASA / Joel Kowski

The report underscored the importance of new space clothing and called it the “critical component” of NASA’s upcoming lunar mission, but also highlighted the agency’s fire for lack of funding, technical challenges and epidemics. .

In fact, the report says that the current approach to the development of astronauts will enable a lunar landing in 2024. According to the current timeline, the cases will come almost two years late and will not be ready for flight until April 2025 early.

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The discoveries did not go unnoticed by a particular millionaire astronaut. Elon Musk quickly provided SpaceX services to help build NASA spacecraft, “SpaceX can do it if needed.”

Astronaut cases
Artist’s perception of an astronaut in XEMU space costume.

The Tesla CEO tweeted that “there seems to be more chefs in the kitchen” involving 27 different companies in the construction of the cases. NASA previously hired only two companies, Hamilton Standard and ILC Dover, to develop the cases currently in use at the International Space Station.

In response to the report, Kathy Louders, NASA’s Associate Administrator for the Directorate of Human Research and Operations, said she would like to review her astronaut development program and test ISS equipment until June 2022, before the first Artemis mission takes place in 2023.

Note previously published in the US Rob Report

Misty Tate

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