NASA on Wednesday announced two private companies have been selected to build the next generation of spacesuits for astronauts working outside the International Space Station (ISS) and soon on the Lunar surface. These two companies, Axiom Space and Collins Aerospace, will be competing for up to $3.5B in contracts to provide equipment, services, and maintenance through 2034. Each company is expected to demonstrate their respective suits by 2025, likely with a spacewalk outside ISS by a crew member.
The term “spacesuit” doesn’t really do it justice though. It is a tiny spacecraft built around a human. Since space is a vacuum it has to carry its own atmosphere and life support system for air pressure, oxygen, CO2 scrubbing, etc. It also has to have thermal protection to keep the astronaut comfortable when exposed to direct sunlight at 250 degrees Fahrenheit and also minus 250 degrees Fahrenheit in the shade of the Earth. Further, it needs video and communication systems as well as propulsion to return to safety in the event of a broken tether. For Lunar missions, the external material of the suit needs to be able to stand up to the abrasiveness of lunar dust, or regolith, and the suit also needs to provide the mobility required for surface activities. Indeed, a spacesuit is a complex and expensive piece of equipment.
– Aaron J. Patrick
Stocks are trading at significant lows. I have been snapping up some techs. Maybe they will go down a lot more but there is also a chance for a lot of upside. I don’t think anybody knows. There are too many variables. I remain bullish on tech, large and small. It may be a long wait.
Crypto market cap hanging in there at $1.2 trillion. Bitcoin is 46.3% of the total. One of the major knocks on crypto has been volatility. It is still an issue. However, BTC has been less volatile in the last 30 days than many stocks. Things are heating up about government regulation. I see this as a good thing.