NASA reaches out to commercial partners for new spacesuits and spacewalk tech

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Space.com 21 April, 2021 - 06:27am 18 views

Who is Elon Musk?

Elon Musk, (born June 28, 1971, Pretoria, South Africa), South African-born American entrepreneur who cofounded the electronic-payment firm PayPal and formed SpaceX, maker of launch vehicles and spacecraft. britannica.comElon Musk | Biography & Facts

They could be used on the moon by Artemis astronauts.

Under this new strategy, the agency will be "shifting acquisition of the exploration extravehicular activity (xEVA) system to a model in which NASA will purchase spacesuit services from commercial partners rather than building them in-house with traditional government contracts," the statement reads. 

"We hope to receive industry input on the feasibility of shifting our exploration spacewalk acquisition activities to a service-based model like our procurement for commercial cargo and crew services," Mark Kirasich, deputy associate administrator for NASA's Advanced Exploration Systems at the agency's headquarters in Washington, said in the same statement.

"This partnership opportunity will allow NASA and industry to work together as commercial space markets in low Earth orbit and beyond rapidly mature, allowing government investments to accelerate industry and our Artemis exploration plans, together."

"We are always looking at ways to lower costs for the taxpayer and focus our efforts and resources on future technology and our bold missions in deep space," Kirasich said, adding that "NASA has a responsibility to taxpayers and future explorers to reexamine its infrastructure as needed to reduce costs and enhance performance," he said. "As part of this strategy, the agency is opening the door to maximize competition and to commercialize space, including spacesuits and EVA capabilities."

While NASA will be reaching out to and collaborating with commercial space companies on this technology going forward, the agency will continue to develop its xEVA system, which includes its xEMU spacesuit — a next-generation spacesuit NASA designed "in house" with Artemis in mind, NASA said in the statement. 

"Our team has developed incredible knowledge about spacewalking and spacesuit activity over the last several decades and extensively studied the unique environments our astronauts will need to operate in," Chris Hansen, manager of the Extravehicular Activity Office at NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston, said in the same statement. "We hope to pair that with the ingenuity of the private sector to enable a versatile EVA capability."

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It's All Over, at Least for Now: Elon Musk Won. Jeff Bezos Lost

Inc. 21 April, 2021 - 12:00pm

On late Friday afternoon, as Musk and Bezos waited, the tea leaves were read, the verdict was rendered, and the winner was declared.

It will be Musk's SpaceX, not Bezos's Blue Origin, that will take astronauts back to the surface of the moon for the first time since 1972, after SpaceX won a $2.89 billion NASA contract, beating out Bezos's company and others.

Musk celebrated, as Musk would, with a tweet: "NASA Rules!," adorned with rocket, heart and star emoji.

Bezos, as far as I could find when I wrote this, has yet to respond -- even after he released his widely praised 6,500-word Amazon shareholder letter yesterday.

Musk and Bezos have been in one rumble after another over the years, waged largely on social media -- and it's developed beyond simply a competition between their companies, to become "a full-blown rivalry," in the words of Christian Davenport, a Washington Post reporter and author of The Space Barons.

Even as Tesla rides high, and as Bezos prepares to step down from the helm of the gargantuan company he started in a garage more than 25 years ago, there's something about building the moon lander, and what that might mean for the future of both companies and both men -- to say nothing of humanity itself -- that seems bigger and bolder.

This is despite the fact that the size of the NASA contract is tiny compared to each man's net worth. They've each gained and lost multiples of that amount, on paper, in a single day -- many times.

Musk, who started SpaceX in 2002 when he was 29, was driven in part to explore space by the realization that rocket technology hadn't really advanced very much in nearly 40 years.

"To a self-made Silicon Valley tech entrepreneur, this was stunning," Davenport wrote in his book. "His company's mantra was: Set audacious, nearly impossible goals and don't get dissuaded."

Bezos, roughly seven years older, says he was first inspired by the memory of watching the Apollo 11 moon landing in 1969, when he was just five.

He later nurtured his passion with a love of science fiction that led him to question the future of the human race, and what was truly possible in space.

Their private space rivarly goes back years, perhaps punctuated by the moment in 2013 when Musk outbid Bezos to acquire NASA's Launch Pad 39A, from which Apollo 11 and the Space Shuttle had been launched.

Bezos responded, as Davenport recounts, by buying Launch Complex 36, which was the spot from which NASA's unmanned missions to Mars and Venus had been launched. Davenport also talks about a meeting between Bezos and Musk to discuss their rocket ambitions in 2004 hadn't gone well.

For all their accomplishments, I think it's fair to suggest that both Bezos and Musk view their space ventures as the true keys to their legacies far in the future, and the biggest contributions they'll make to world history.

That's why Bezos has said he intends to continue investing $1 billion per year in Blue Origin by liquidating his Amazon stock. And all of Musk's companies, according to author Tim Fernholz's book, Rocket Billionaires, are "explicitly intended to further human civilization."

Perhaps because they share this common purpose, there's a degree to which the rivalry sometimes seems more like a friendly, almost big brother/little brother competition than a blood feud.

I'm reminded of how Bezos congratulated Musk and SpaceX after a test of its high-altitude Starship rocket, which ultimately exploded. 

"Anybody who knows how hard this stuff is is impressed by today's Starship test," Bezos posted on Instagram. "Big congrats to the whole @SpaceX team. I'm confident they'll be back at it soon."

Still, there's no denying that the return to the moon later this decade, potentially as soon as 2024, is the near-term space prize that is most likely to inspire humanity again, and act as an even bigger launchpad for the people, technology, and companies involved.

The private space race might have just begun. But in this early, important, high-profile contest, they went head to head, and Musk is clearly the winner. 

(Don't forget to download the free ebooks: Jeff Bezos Regrets Nothing, and Elon Musk Has Very Big Plans.)

NEWS CONFERENCE WITH ASTRONAUT KATE RUBINS, Apr 21, 2021, JSC, 3:15 pm ET

SpacePolicyOnline.com 21 April, 2021 - 12:00pm

NASA astronaut Kate Rubins, who just returned from 185 days on the International Space Station, will hold a news conference at Johnson Space Center on April 21, 2021 at 3:15 pm ET. It will be broadcast on NASA Television, the NASA app, and the agency’s website.

Rubins and her Soyuz MS-17 crewmates Russians Sergey Ryzhikov and Sergey Kud-Sverchkov landed in Kazakhstan on April 17, 2021.

Crew returns to Earth after six months on the ISS

SlashGear 17 April, 2021 - 02:37pm

Astronauts returned to Earth after about seven months in the space station. Science and health

Sprout Wired 17 April, 2021 - 01:37pm

Three crew members from International Space Station (ISS) The Russian spacecraft returned to Earth on Saturday (17) in Soyuz, the agency Roskosmos reported.

Soyuz MS-17 Kazakhstan Russian cosmonauts with Sergey Reznikov and Sergey Kud-Severkov and gave the Americans “a ride”.

Ship brought astronaut from there NASA Kate Rubinus. He, who is a microbiologist, was the first person to sequence DNA in space in 2016.

American astronaut Kathleen Rubins returned to Earth after seven months in space on April 17, 2021 – Photo: Irina Spector / GCTC / Roskosmos / Reuters

All three were at the space station since mid-October last year.

The mission was the last scheduled Russian flight carrying an American crew member, marking the end of a long dependency.

You America Preparations are to return to the ability to send astronauts to space on their own.

Last year, SpaceX became the first private company to send a crew to the ISS, which restored American capacity Juggling for the first time Since the end of the space shuttle program.

On Friday (16), the NASA announced Who chose SpaceX To take the first American astronauts to the moon since 1972.

The $ 2.9 billion contract includes a prototype of the starship spacecraft, which is being tested at SpaceX facilities in southern Texas.

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