Space vogue: Prada to help design Artemis lunar spacesuits for NASA with Axiom Space

Axiom Space revealed prototypes of the AxEMU spacesuits earlier this year. Now, Prada engineers will join the team working throughout the design process on the Artemis III spacesuits.

The spacesuit design industry has officially entered high fashion after Axiom Space announced it has teamed up with luxury fashion house Prada to design the Moon spacesuits to be worn by NASA astronauts. 

Houston-based Axiom Space was selected by NASA to design the Extravehicular Mobility Unit or AxEMU spacesuits that will be worn by the first astronauts to walk on the Moon in over 50 years during the Artemis III mission in 2025.

Axiom Space has already been working on the suit design, which includes life support and communication systems and the physical suits, since NASA selected the company to create the spacesuits in June 2022. The company revealed prototypes of the AxEMU spacesuits in March. Now, Axiom Space said Prada engineers will join the team working throughout the design process. 

Axiom Space CEO Michael Suffredini said the Italian design house brings expertise in design and materials with more than 100 years in design innovation. 


"We are thrilled to partner with Prada on the Axiom Extravehicular Mobility Unit (AxEMU) spacesuit," Suffredini said. "Prada's technical expertise with raw materials, manufacturing techniques, and innovative design concepts will bring advanced technologies instrumental in ensuring not only the comfort of astronauts on the lunar surface, but also the much-needed human factors considerations absent from legacy spacesuits."

Prada engineers will work with the Artemis III suit design team to develop solutions for materials and design features to protect against the lunar and space environments. 


"The constantly forward-thinking ethos of Prada for humanity has broadened to his desire of adventure and to brave new horizons: space," Prada Group Marketing Director Lorenzo Bertelli said in a statement. "We are honored to be a part of this historic mission with Axiom Space. Our decades of experimentation, cutting-edge technology and design know-how – which started back in the ‘90s with Luna Rossa challenging for the America’s Cup – will now be applied to the design of a spacesuit for the Artemis era. It is a true celebration of the power of human creativity and innovation to advance civilization."

The electrically charged lunar dust is a concern for human exploration of the Moon because it sticks to surfaces, including spacesuits. Scientists have been developing methods to keep the Moon dust away since it first became a known issue during the Apollo program.

First lunar spacesuits in 50 years

The current EMUs used on the International Space Station haven't been significantly redesigned in decades, but the next generation of spacesuit design is already underway. NASA tapped Collins Aerospace and Axiom Space to design spacesuits for astronauts on the space station. 

SpaceX designed the first new flight suits for astronauts to wear in their spacecraft since the space shuttle program. The sleek black-and-white suits are a far cry from the orange "pumpkin suits" from the shuttle program. SpaceX is also working on pressurized spacesuits for the first all-private spacewalk with the Polaris Program. 

Boeing teamed up with David Clark Co. and Reebok on its Starliner spacecraft flight suit in "Boeing blue."

The last planetary spacesuits with mobility for walking on the Moon were designed for the Apollo astronauts more than 50 years ago.