Nasa unveiled its new suits last fall. Artemis astronauts will wear those suits when they take their first steps on the lunar surface. This will be the first time since way back in 1972. The look of the A7LB pressure suit variants have since signified to many the iconic, definitive symbol of humanity’s most ambitiously realized dreams of ventures into space. Some of these variants accompanied them earlier to the Moon, and later to Skylab.
Artemis’ 2024 launch target is approaching. Thus, the original Nasa Moon suit could soon be supplanted in the minds of a new generation of space dreamers with the xEMU. It is the first ground-up suit with the purpose of exploring the lunar landscape since Apollo 17’s Harrison Schmitt and Eugene Cernan took humanity’s last moonwalk (to date). The xEMU’s design is getting assistance from a source of “brain” power, not available back then for those previous suits. That “brain” power is artificial intelligence.
Specifically, artificial intelligence is reportedly crunching all the numbers behind the scenes. This helps engineer support components for the new, more versatile life support system that will be equipped for the Extravehicular Mobility Unit (xEMU) suit. WIRED reports that NASA uses artificial intelligence to assist the new suit’s life support system. Moreover, it helps the system in carrying out its more vital functions. It is also streamlining its component size, weight, and tolerance for load-bearing pressure, temperature, and the other physical demands that a trip to the Moon (and back) imposes.
Recruiting artificial intelligence is not just about speed. Nevertheless, speed is one of the perks too meeting NASA’s ambitious 2024 timeline and all that lies beyond. Jesse Craft is a senior design engineer and Texas-based contractor. He is working on the upgraded version of the xEMU suit. He told WIRED that the machine’s iterative process is 100 or 1,000 times more capable than what they could do on their own. Moreover, it comes up with a solution that is ideally optimized with their constraints.
Nevertheless, in some instances, artificial intelligence even raises the bar for quality. Craft also noted that Nasa is using artificial intelligence to inspire design. They have included biases for round dimensions, right angles, and flat surfaces. Those are the things you would expect from human design. However, artificial intelligence challenges your prejudices, and it allows you to see new solutions you did not see before.
Nasa has so far relied on artificial intelligence to design supports and physical brackets for the life support system itself. In other words, it is not the kind of stuff that may be critical to living in the event of failure. Nevertheless, that approach is already paying off with cutting mass without sacrificing strength and yielding component weight reductions of up to fifty percent. This is according to the report.
Astronauts experience 1/6 of the gravity back on Earth. Small weight savings here and there can add up to make a big difference while they are on the Moon. Moreover, even a slight slimming down cannot hurt the chance of the xEMU becoming a new standard-bearer in space fashion.
- Trading Instrument