Collins Aerospace, a subsidiary of Raytheon Technologies, along with its partners ILC Dover and Oceaneering, has been awarded a contract to design, develop and demonstrate the next-generation spacesuit for the International Space Station.
This is Collins’ first task order under NASA’s Exploration Extravehicular Activity Services, or xEVAS, contract, which was awarded in May 2022, and builds on more than 50 years of Collins Aerospace experience developing spacesuits for NASA.
“Our next-generation spacesuit was built by astronauts for astronauts, continuing Collins’ long-standing legacy as a trusted partner of NASA’s human space exploration,” said Dave McClure, vice president and general manager, ISR & Space Solutions with Collins Aerospace, in a news release. “Collins’ advanced spacesuit technology will be used on the International Space Station and we’re prepared to continue keeping astronauts safe, connected and ready – no matter the mission.”
Collins’ next-generation spacesuit contains everything an astronaut needs to survive in the vacuum of space. Made up of more than 18,000 parts and with an interior volume the size of a small refrigerator, the suit provides oxygen, CO2 removal, electrical power, hydration, ventilation, thermal control and communications.
“ILC Dover is proud to be working with a world class team to design and manufacture the next generation of spacesuits for the ISS,” said Corey Walker, CEO of ILC Dover. “Leveraging our decades of experience engineering the pressure garments for the Apollo missions and the ISS, our latest spacesuits will have the ability to be outfitted for missions from the ISS to the lunar surface and beyond.”
Collins’ next-generation suit is lighter weight and lower volume to improve astronaut efficiency, range of motion and comfort. Designed to fit nearly any body type, it also has an open architecture design which allows the suit to be easily modified as missions change or become more advanced.
“We are extremely excited and proud to be part of the Collins team, helping to successfully develop and deploy critical US EVA space exploration capability,” said Phil Beierl, senior vice president of Aerospace and Defense Technologies for Oceaneering. “Our staff brings outstanding spacesuit systems engineering and integration expertise to this task. We look forward to leveraging our portable life support and pressure garment subsystem technologies, as well as our crew training and mission operations knowledge to support the Collins team.”
Collins Aerospace has about 9,000 employees at its facilities in Cedar Rapids and Coralville.