Speaking at Nasa's headquarters, the administrator, Jim Bridenstine, and spacesuit engineers presented the first closeup look at the suits.
Amy Ross, a spacesuit engineer at NASA's Johnson Space Center, left, and NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine, second from left, watch as Kristine Davis, a spacesuit engineer at NASA's Johnson Space Center, wearing a ground prototype of NASA's new Exploration Extravehicular Mobility Unit (xEMU), and Dustin Gohmert, Orion Crew Survival Systems Project Manager at NASA's Johnson Space Center, wearing the Orion Crew Survival System suit. Astronauts will wear them while traveling to and from the moon, and they'll be able to live inside the suits for days should a spacecraft experience sudden depressurization.
Reportedly, NASA aims to fly one xEMU suit to the space station where it will be testing them out before sending them over to the lunar surface.
The orange suit will be worn during launch and re-entry of NASA's new spacecraft to provide thermal protection for the astronauts in case of a depressurizing accident.
It was specially designed for the challenging mission ahead, and protect astronauts from various harsh conditions such as temperatures that range from minus 250 degrees to plus 250 degrees Fahrenheit, which can help our astronauts during their mission to the moon's south pole.
The new suits come as a much-needed upgrade to NASA's astronaut wardrobe.
These suits are due to be used for the agency's next mission to the Moon in 2024, known as Artemis. Artemis is the name for the mission to land the first woman and the next man on the Moon by 2024. Between 1969 and 1972, six missions set down on the moon - a feat that has not been duplicated by the United States or any other nation since.
Design and production of the suit is also expected to invigorate the private sector. It is about 10 pounds lighter than what astronauts wore on the space shuttle. The insulation is created to withstand a temperature range of -150C to 120C.
Astronauts will be able to reach across the suit and lift their arms above their heads. They will have to replace the failed battery charge/discharge unit with a new one, with the old unit to be sent back to earth on board a SpaceX vessel so engineers can figure out why it failed. Spacesuits being designed elsewhere have more futuristic and fashionable appearances.
With the new design, performing more delicate tasks and maintenance is easier for astronauts. There's also a diaper-like padding to absorb any moisture should the astronauts really need to relieve themselves during a spacewalk that can last several hours. "The mobility is one of the biggest things, the fact that these bearings give you that great shoulder mobility, and that's very important".