ILC Dover’s “Astro” was developed for spacewalks, the Moon, and Mars.

The same company that helped develop and supply space suits for NASA’s Apollo program has unveiled the prototype Next Generation Spacesuit system nicknamed Astro. ILC Dover and Collins Aerospace, who have worked with ILC Dover to produce space suits that are currently used aboard the International Space Station, have this next-generation space suit at a July 25 event on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. The event also celebrated the 50th anniversary of the moon landing. The new suit system consists of an extravehicular activity (EVA) suit as well as a life-support backpack that regulates pressure and provides oxygen and cooling.

While Astro was designed for spacewalks, the suit can also be configured for planetary exploration, Stoll said. Spacewalks require very little trunk agility, but astronauts landing and walking around targets like the Moon and Mars require considerable mobility and flexibility. Adding mobility features to a suit, however, can not increase the weight.That’s why ILC Dover has developed a lower-stepped body that provides all the mobility an astronaut needs to explore the Moon or Mars without weighing the suit with unnecessary weight traditionally consideredNeeded for a “walking” space suit, “Stoll added. In addition, it will be easy for astronauts to switch between these two suit configurations, Stoll said, “Both the gravity-free and the outgoing lower fuselage are attached to the upper fuselage via a quick release, allowing an astronaut to easily switch between them, depending on the mission can, “she said.The new suit will also use a pair of Astro gloves that enhance the ILC Dover Phase VI glove, which according to Stoll has been “the workhorse of NASA.” The new suit will also include a digital display system that allows astronauts to use voice controls,access real-time data and communicate over HD video.

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