The European Space Agency (ESA) is searching for possible spacesuit materials that would best protect future lunar astronauts from the tough conditions of the moon.
On Jan. 19, the Paris-based intergovernmental organization signed a two-year agreement with Comex and its partners the German Institute of Textile Technology and Process Engineering and the Austrian Space Forum to searching not only existing spacesuit materials but also more nascent innovations with useful properties such as self-healing capabilities, dust repellence and integrated circuitry.
“The identification and test of such materials could serve the development of future European spacesuits for spacewalks on the moon and is in line with ESA’s exploration strategy to return to the moon in the coming decades,” ESA officials said in a statement.
“The recognition and test of such materials could serve the development of future European spacesuits for spacewalks on the moon and is in line with ESA’s exploration tactic to return to the moon in the coming decades,” ESA officials says in a statement.
ESA and its international associates, including NASA, are working to return humanatiy to the moon in the mid 2020s by way of a lunar space station known as the Deep Space Gateway, which will provide as both a halfway point and a base camp for campaigns to the surface below, including the proposed robot-driven Heracles mission.
“The materials that will be identified in the frame of the Pextex project will be tested in test facilities with the fellow organizations in France, Germany and Austria,” ESA officials said.