Collins Aerospace announces developmental milestone of next-gen spacesuit

Collins Aerospace, an RTX business, with partners ILC Dover and Oceaneering, completed the Crew Capability Assessment test, a key step in the design process on its next-generation spacesuit for the International Space Station, under NASA’s Exploration Extravehicular Activity Services, or xEVAS, contract.

The Collins team validated suit performance in a manufactured zero-gravity environment onboard an aircraft, performing a series of demonstrations performed by experienced former NASA astronauts.

The primary objectives of the flight test included evaluation of the suit’s pressure garment system fit and functionality, use of International Space Station tools and interfaces, and reviewed performance of the new Extravehicular Mobility Unit, or EMU, against the current design.

Noteworthy, Collins’ next-generation suit is lighter weight and lower volume than NASA’s current spacesuit.

Its open architecture design will allow the suit to be easily modified as missions change or technology becomes more advanced.

The company has engaged with current and former astronauts to guide engineering and design choices.

Ahead of a critical design review, additional evaluations are scheduled including a thermal vacuum test and an underwater test to be held at NASA’s Neutral Buoyancy Lab in Texas.