NASA tests Artemis spacesuits underwater for possible moon landing

  • NASA is developing new spacesuits for its planned missions to the moon.
  • Astronauts are testing the spacesuits in a giant pool: the Neutral Buoyancy Lab in Houston, Texas.
  • The pool mimics the feeling of microgravity and serves as a training ground for astronauts learning how to do spacewalks. 
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NASA is racing to get astronauts back to the moon in 2024. But before that can happen, the agency needs to perfect its spacesuits.

NASA has already designed the new suits that astronauts will wear on its Artemis moon missions. Now it’s testing the suits to make sure people can actually walk in them and perform complex tasks, like handling tools and checking equipment.

Many of those tests happen underwater.

At NASA’s Neutral Buoyancy Lab in Houston, Texas, astronauts-in-training wear spacesuits in a giant pool to simulate what they’ll feel like in microgravity.

The pool

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Shuttle astronaut Wendy Lawrence talks spacesuits, Mir and learning Russian in ‘Virtual Astronaut’ webcast Friday

In October, if all goes to plan, the International Space Station (ISS) will celebrate 20 years of continuous human presence. That’s two decades, 63 expeditions, and dozens of astronauts and cosmonauts who lived and worked on board the orbiting lab nonstop. 



NASA astronaut Wendy Lawrence works at the space shuttle Discovery's aft flight deck during the STS-114 mission, on July 28, 2005.


© Provided by Space
NASA astronaut Wendy Lawrence works at the space shuttle Discovery’s aft flight deck during the STS-114 mission, on July 28, 2005.

Former NASA astronaut Wendy Lawrence was supposed to fly in the predecessor program to ISS, called the Shuttle-Mir program. A handful of astronauts from NASA’s space shuttle program spent a few months each on the Russian (formerly Soviet) Mir space station in the 1990s. This allowed them to train regularly for the first time with cosmonauts, or Russian spaceflyers, since the joint NASA-Soviet Apollo-Soyuz mission of 1975.

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But Lawrence will soon deliver a virtual talk that, in part, addresses a time when

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