in the works
Charlotte, North Carolina-based Collins Aerospace has been selected by NASA to develop a spacewalking system for the astronauts aboard the International Space Station.
The award, which is the second under NASA’s Exploration EVA Services contract, has a base value of $97.2 million, per a Dec. 8 news release from NASA. The company has until January 2024 "to complete a critical design review and demonstrate use of the suit on Earth in a simulated space environment," according to NASA, which will then decide the option to extend the contract for testing to be conducted by April 2026.
NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston manages the spacesuit contract. Collins Aerospace has had a presence in Houston for 40 years, and recently cut the ribbon on a $30 million facility near the JSC.
“We look forward to obtaining another much-needed service under our contract,” says Lara Kearney, manager of the Extravehicular Activity and Human Surface Mobility Program at JSC, in the release. “By working with industry, NASA is able to continue its over 22-year legacy of maintaining a presence in low-Earth orbit.”
The current system was designed decades ago and has been used during previous space shuttle and space station missions. Collins Aerospace will work with Houston-based Axiom Space on this project, which was initially announced this summer.
"Both vendors will continue to compete for future task orders which include recurring services for station spacewalks and moonwalks beyond Artemis III," the news release reads.