United Technologies unit Collins Aerospace and ILC Dover have unveiled the prototype of a next-generation spacesuit system designed for future missions with Nasa and commercial customer applications in mind.

With experience driven from the collaboration dating back to the Apollo programme and continuing through the Space Shuttle and International Space Station (ISS) programmes, the two entities designed the system as a demonstration of innovative future suit technologies.

The system is specifically designed for lunar surface missions in partial gravity, orbital space station missions in microgravity, and further planetary missions.

It has enhanced features such as CO2 removal technology, which is constantly regenerated while in use. This technology will enable longer missions, thereby decreasing crew maintenance time.

The next-generation spacesuit will comprise improved mobility joints and an ambulatory lower torso, which enables astronauts to traverse hazardous terrain and collect geological samples from the surface.

The upper torso can be resized without any tools and contains advanced sizing features that enable an optimal fit.

Other features include motors and electronics that reduce size and weight, as well as enable the incorporation of additional avionics and other data capabilities.

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Collins Aerospace ISR and Space Solutions president Gail Baker said: “Together, we have a rich history of advancing human space exploration, and as we celebrate the 15th anniversary of the Apollo 11 lunar mission, we have already begun writing the next chapter.”

The open architecture of the system is designed to allow the spacesuit to be easily upgraded with the latest technologies.