NASA is the most famous space agency in the world, nonetheless, sometimes even NASA is unable to solve problems. Hopefully, billionaire investor Elon Musk is ready to help NASA make its next-generation spacesuits. The space agency’s current program is behind schedule and will cost more than $1 billion according to a watchdog.
Musk’s company developed as well as made flight suits for astronauts who launch into orbit on its Crew Dragon spacecraft. The main purpose of flight suits is to protect astronauts in case of a fire inside of the spacecraft, or if the cabin depressurizes. It is not an easy task to build spacesuits, given the need to survive outside of a spacecraft.
Billionaire investor’s proposal came in response to a report prepared by NASA’s inspector general. The report noted that astronauts on board the International Space Station use spacesuits designed many years ago. The space agency needs to replace them in the near future.
NASA and its spacesuit programs
NASA started three different spacesuit programs more than a decade ago. The space agency spent $420 million on development since 2007. The Inspector general’s report said the space agency plans to invest another $625.2 million to develop spacesuits.
The report also revealed other important details about NASA’s problems. According to the report, delays “attributable to funding shortfalls, COVID-19 impacts, and other problems” eliminated the chance that spacesuits are ready in time. The space agency originally said the spacesuits would be ready by March 2023.
It needs new spacesuits for its Artemis program. Former President Donald Trump initiated the Artemis program and the current administration continues to support it. NASA aims to land astronauts on the lunar body as part of the Artemis program by 2024.