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THE BIZNOB – Global Business & Financial News – A Business Journal – Focus On Business Leaders, Technology – Enterpeneurship – Finance – Economy – Politics & LifestyleTHE BIZNOB – Global Business & Financial News – A Business Journal – Focus On Business Leaders, Technology – Enterpeneurship – Finance – Economy – Politics & Lifestyle

Economy

Economy

RTX’s Collins is considering canceling NASA’s ISS spacesuit contract.

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image credit:collinsaerospace.com

According to two sources, RTX Corp subsidiary Collins Aerospace is in talks with NASA to cancel its contract to build new spacesuits for International Space Station astronauts, a setback as the agency struggles with its decades-old spacewalking suits.
Collins and Axiom Space received $3.5 billion from NASA in 2022 to create new spacesuits for the ISS and lunar missions. Collins received $97 million for ISS suit development and might compete with Axiom for lunar spacesuit cash.

Collins’ engagement in the program has been rough and development has slipped behind schedule, so the business has been in negotiations with NASA officials to wind down its position, the two sources said.
“After a thorough evaluation, Collins Aerospace and NASA mutually agreed to descope Exploration Extravehicular Activity Services task orders,” a Collins spokeswoman said in a statement, referring to the spacesuit contract.
NASA did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The spacesuit woes add to a long history of difficulties NASA has faced in modernizing what are essentially human-shaped spacecraft – bulky, complex systems U.S. astronauts use to venture outside of the ISS some 250 miles (400 km) above Earth for routine repairs on the football field-sized lab’s exterior.
The talks to end Collins’ contract come at a difficult time for NASA as it suffers a rare streak of astronaut spacewalk cancellations at the ISS this month because of its current, some 40-year-old, spacesuits, which are managed by Collins.

The agency said a “spacesuit discomfort issue” forced the cancellation of two astronauts planned spacewalk on June 13 just before it was poised to begin. Then a second attempt at the spacewalk, on Monday, was canceled minutes into the six-hour mission because of a water leak in U.S. astronaut Tracy Dyson’s suit.
“There’s water everywhere … I got an arctic blast all over my visor,” Dyson reported to mission control.

Past spacewalks have been called off over issues with the station’s spacesuits, which have only had minor redesigns and refurbishments since their conception nearly half a century ago. NASA’s inspector general and its independent Aerospace Safety Advisory Panel have long pushed the agency to upgrade them.
Collins’ backing out of the new spacesuit program appears to put NASA’s future suits in the hands of Axiom, a startup managing astronaut flights and building its own space station. Axiom did not immediately return a request for comment.


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