Jun 14, 2008

New Spacesuits for Astronauts

NASA has chosen a new contractor to build it's new spacesuits for the post-space shuttle Constellation program. The current space shuttle fleet will retire in 2010, and the Constellation missions are set to begin in 2015. The current spacesuits used by spacewalking astronauts were designed for floating in weightlessness, not walking on the moon. So, to build new spacesuits for use in the future space missions, NASA has chosen Oceaneering International Inc of Houston.

Oceaneering International Inc defeated a bid by Exploration Systems and Technology, a joint venture of current lead spacesuit contractors United Technologies Corp's Hamilton Sundstrand of Windsor Locks, Connecticut, and ILC Dover of Frederica, Delaware. The contract, worth up to $745 million, includes design, testing, evaluation and production of two types of spacesuits. One would be worn by astronauts traveling on NASA's new Orion spaceships and be used for emergency spacewalks, and another for astronauts working on the lunar surface.


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