Back to the Moon in Style!

(Above:Gordon Cooper, one of NASA’s original seven astronauts chosen in 1959, poses in his Mercury flight suit.)

(Below: Proposals of two new spacesuit systems designed to meet the requirements of Orion missions to the space station and back to the moon!)

(article from ABC News)

The defining image of space exploration is set for a facelift as the spacesuit prepares for its first update since the late 1970s.

NASA has selected a company to design and outfit new spacesuits made specifically for lunar exploration. The Constellation Space Suit System contract, announced last week, is a critical step in sending a manned mission to the moon for the first time since Apollo 17 in 1972.

“We’ve now got all of our prime contracts in place,” said Jeff Hanley, manager for the Constellation program at Houston’s Johnson Space Center. He said he expects to have American astronauts “on [the] moon by end of the next decade.”

The contract, awarded to Oceaneering International Inc of Houston, could be worth up to $745 million over the next 10 years. “We’re ready to put them to work and get ready to put bootprints back on the moon,” said Glenn Lutz, NASA project manager for Extravehicular Activity Systems.