In its quest to conquer space, NASA has left no stone unturned over the past few decades. Even when their budget was slashed under the last administration, they continued to innovate by partnering with private companies to carry out space missions. Therefore, it was no surprise when we found that NASA plans to make a billion-dollar spacesuit in a recent audit with their increased budget under the new administration.
In the audit report released by NASA this week, inspectors discovered something concerning. They found that NASA has spent $420 million on the development of their next-generation spacesuit till now. What surprised them, even more was that the agency plans to spend another $625 million on this endeavor.
The agency is reportedly spending all this money preparing for the next Moon landing initially scheduled for 2024. However, the report claims that the new suits won’t be ready for real-world use until April 2025. That, too, is an optimistic estimate, and the actual timescale may vary.
Weren’t the old suits good enough?
Just because something was good enough does not mean you shouldn’t try to make it better. After all, we can’t leave the lives of our astronauts to something good enough. The report too agrees with this notion and mentions the same:
“The development of new spacesuits is a critical component of achieving NASA’s goals of returning humans to the Moon, continuing safe operations on the International Space Station (ISS), and exploring Mars and other deep-space locations.”
This project, codenamed xEVA, has been trying to expand on the agency’s work since 2007. The new suit will be called xEMU and will feature the latest and greatest technological innovations. The list will include things like new cameras, lights, and completely redesigned life-support sub-systems.
So, what’s the problem here?
The problem lies with the agency using 27 different vendors to procure the components for this suit. Now, usually, that won’t be a problem. But, in the modern age where people like to freak out over the tiniest things, this particular fact has been drawing a lot of attention.
Even our Lord and Savior, Mr. Musk, came out of his lair to express his concerns on Twitter by referencing the famous adage:
Too many cooks will spoil the broth.
And, before anyone could pounce on this golden opportunity to ratio Mr. Musk, he also proclaimed that “SpaceX could do it if need be.”
Therefore, we mere mortals should no longer be doubtful because if NASA fails to do it, our resident Iron Man, Mr. Musk, will definitely succeed!
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