SpaceX and NASA Astronauts Test Equipment for Artemis 3 Moon Mission

Axiom Space astronaut Peggy Whitson and NASA astronaut Douglas Wheelock recently tested SpaceX Starship hardware and spacesuits in preparation for the Artemis 3 moon mission. The test, which took place at SpaceX headquarters in Hawthorne, California, provided valuable feedback on the functionality and compatibility of the spacesuits with the Starship Human Landing System.

The astronauts tested the flexibility and ease of use of the spacesuits, as well as their ability to operate controls and perform tasks in a simulated lunar environment. The test also assessed the layout and design of the Starship HLS, including the airlock, deck, and elevator that will transport astronauts to the moon’s surface.

NASA and Axiom have been working closely to design and test the Axiom Extravehicular Mobility Unit (AxEMU) spacesuit, which will be worn by astronauts during the Artemis missions. Integrated tests like these are crucial to ensure the safety and effectiveness of systems before sending astronauts on missions to the moon.

While the Artemis 3 mission is now scheduled for September 2026, delays related to the Orion spacecraft have pushed back the original timeline. NASA remains committed to launching the mission safely and will proceed when all systems are ready.

SpaceX’s development of the reusable Starship vehicle aims to make future moon and Mars missions economically feasible. The recent successful test flight of the Starship brings humanity one step closer to returning to the moon and exploring beyond.

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Sharmila Kuthunur is a Seattle-based science journalist covering astronomy, astrophysics, and space exploration. Follow her on Twitter @skuthunur.