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Collins Aerospace and two other companies have been chosen to design NASA’s next-generation spacesuit.
Collins Aerospace, Cedar Rapid’s largest employer, said on its website the suits could be worn by astronauts “when working outside the International Space Station and — within the next decade — on the moon.”
The suits, according to the website, will “offer enhanced mobility and weigh less than the current generation spacesuits, allowing for increased mission times. The suits are also designed to accommodate nearly every astronaut body type and can rapidly incorporate new technologies.”
The suits will be engineered and designed in Windsor Locks, Conn., and assembly, maintenance and testing of the suit will be completed at its Houston Spaceport facility, Jessica Napoli, external communications senior manager, told the Gazette in an email.
Terms of the contract were not disclosed.
“Astronauts returning to the moon and venturing beyond need a spacesuit that’s as modern as their new missions,” said Dan Burbank, senior technical fellow at Collins Aerospace and a former NASA astronaut.
“The next-gen spacesuit is lighter, more modular, a better fit and easily adaptable, which means that wherever the journey into space may lead, our crew will be ready.”
Collins Aerospace designed the first spacesuit for astronauts to walk on the moon and the suit NASA astronauts now wear when working outside the International Space Station, added the company, a business unit of Boston-based Raytheon Technologies.
“Collins was there when the first man walked on the moon, and we’ll be there when humankind goes back,” said Phil Jasper, president of Mission Systems for Collins Aerospace.
The other participating companies are ILC Dover, an engineering products manufacturer in Delaware, and applied technology company Oceaneering of Houston, Texas.