Nasa awards Moon suit contract

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Nasa has awarded a contract worth US$183.8m to Oceaneering International for the design, development and production of a new spacesuit system..

The spacesuit will be used during Constellation Program voyages to the International Space Station and, by 2020, the surface of the Moon.

"The award of the spacesuit contract completes the spaceflight hardware requirements for the Constellation Program's first human flight in 2015," said Jeff Hanley, Constellation Program manager at Nasa's Johnson Space Center in Houston.

Contracts for the Orion crew capsule and the Ares I rocket have been awarded during the past two years.

Suits and support systems will be needed for up to four astronauts on Moon voyages and as many as six Space Station travellers.

For short trips to the moon, the suit design will support a week's worth of Moon walks. The system also must be designed to support a significant number of Moon walks during potential six-month lunar outpost expeditions.

In addition, the spacesuit and support systems will provide contingency spacewalk capabilities and protection against the launch and landing environment such as spacecraft cabin leaks.
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