The astronauts wear Prada

Eva Morletto

By Eva Morletto05 octobre 2023

Prada teams up with Axiom Space to design the suits for NASA's upcoming Artemis lunar missions. This collaboration highlights the intersection of fashion and technology in space exploration.

This historic spacewalk shows astronaut Bruce McCandless II just a short distance from the Space Shuttle Challenger in full Earth orbit (NASA)

It's not just the devil who wears Prada! Soon, astronauts setting foot on the Moon will too. On Wednesday, October 4th, Prada entered into an exclusive partnership with Axiom Space, chosen by NASA to design the suits for the future Artemis missions.

Prada has been enlisted to provide its technical expertise, especially in selecting the most high-performance and suitable materials, as Axiom Space stated in a press release, to 'protect astronauts against the unique challenges posed by space and the lunar environment.' According to Michael Suffredini, CEO of Axiom, these suits, intended for the Extravehicular Mobility Unit, will be designed to be more comfortable, flexible, and high-performing compared to traditional space suits and will be inspired by NASA's xEMU suits. Prada has genuine expertise in the field of technical fabrics since the 1990s when the Italian house participated in the America's Cup with the famous Luna Rossa. The yachting team dressed by Prada could rely on highly performing fabrics in terms of flexibility and waterproofing.

For the astronaut suits, the challenge lies, in particular, in creating fabrics to make the outer layers resistant to lunar dust, considered highly abrasive, while ensuring freedom of movement. Probably white in color to reflect heat and effectively shield astronauts from extreme temperatures, these suits will leave little room for designer creativity, as pointed out by Lorenzo Bertelli, Prada's marketing director. The brand will face a rigid set of specifications that prioritize technical performance and functionality, in close collaboration with Axiom's engineers.

According to the latest estimate from the U.S. Government Accountability Office, the development of the Space Launch System put in place for the Artemis project has cost $9.1 billion, up significantly from the initial budget of $6.4 billion, representing a notable 42.5% increase in costs compared to the original budget.

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