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Why NASA spacesuits are so expensive - Business Insider

European Space Agency
Final Frontier Design
Russia's Orlan
American EMU

Jesse Buffington
Luca Parmitano
Chris Cassidy
Ted Southern
Nikolay Moiseev
Elon Musk
Neil Armstrong

2030.With Russian

the moon
the moon.

the International Space Station
the Cosmonaut Training Center
Johnson Space Center

Star City

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They provide oxygen, communications, telemetry, and everything else that a human needs to survive, all rolled into one tiny, human-formed spacecraft.Narrator: But the spacesuits NASA currently uses are more than 40 years old.18 suits were developed for the Space Shuttle program in 1974 and have vastly overworked their original 15-year-life design. If you could have some towels ready, that would be great.Narrator: In total, almost 1 1/2 liters of water leaked into his helmet, threatening to drown Parmitano mid-spacewalk.But considering that NASA's Apollo-era spacesuits allowed 12 humans to walk on the moon 50 years ago and considering the Space Shuttle-era suits have been used on over 200 spacewalks, is such a large investment in new spacesuits needed?Lewis: Well, that depends on what you're going to ask the astronauts to do. I expect our suit development will be in the multimillion-dollar range, but I hope that our suit EVA system will be around $2 million apiece or less.Narrator: Even though NASA has not officially released the unit price of the new xEMU suit, it's safe to say their costs will be much higher.Buffington: If we were to take the design of the suit we have today, if we were to reproduce copies of that suit, we believe that would cost us in the range of $15 million to $25 million per unit. But we do believe that the design that we're developing today with the xEMU should not only stay within that range, we actually believe that competition and the innovation that we fostered will actually drive that cost lower per unit.Narrator: How does NASA's spacesuit costs compare with other countries? Roscosmos is also developing a new EVA suit for Russia's first proposed moon landing, by 2030.With Russian technology in a cycle of constant development and American EMU fleets continuing to age, more commercial opportunities could become available for private companies like Final Frontier to develop spacesuit technologies at lower prices.

As said here by Andy Ash