NASA releases a new formal request for information from the industry, including around space suits. The agency hopes to gather information to help it determine the future path of purchasing a space suit for manufacturing and services from outside industry sources.
This does not mean that it immediately outsources the design and manufacture of space suits – NASA will build and certify its own space suits for use in Artemis' first missions, including Artemis III, who will be the next to see the next American and first American woman set off on a journey to the moon's surface. But for the Artemis missions thereafter, of which five are currently proposed (Artemis 4 ̵
NASA, of course, has already worked with the private industry, as well as with academic institutions and researchers, on technologies that go into their own space suits. And the agency fully hopes that the current suit for exploration will be the basis of any future projects. However, it seeks to fully transfer its pride and testing to industry partners, and additionally expects these partners to "facilitate the evolution of costumes" and to offer improvements to existing costume designs.
In addition to costumes, NASA is seeking investment in tools and accessories to be used under the costumes, during off-road activities, or in order for the costumes to work well with the vehicles that transport them, as well as with the moon gateway that will perform role
Finally, NASA would also like to hear from companies about how to better commercialize space suits and space walks – making them accessible to clients outside the agency itself.
Not surprisingly, given how much NASA has been signaling lately, it is interesting to collaborate more with industry in both Artemis and in the future on Mars, as well as on the ISS (and its potential commercial successor). The full RFI issued by NASA is available here if you are interested in launching a spacesuit.