The United States offers to use its US-made space suits instead of the Russian-made Orlan suits in conducting spacewalks outside the Lunar Orbital Platform-Gateway. According to the source, the foreign partners explained the request because Russia is not producing space suits which are designated for the Moon, also noting that keeping two different sets of space suits is irrational.
Along with it, US also insist Russia construct its airlock module in line with the US standards. Hence, they need to adjust with the US-made space suits which are specially designed for lunar orbit missions. The source also explained that the issue was discussed by all the partners, which includes the United States and Russia, together with the Canada, European countries and Japan.
The latter’s group of the countries mostly use the US standards in most of the space industry since the launch of the International Space Station, while the ISS Russian segment has their standards. The source also said that Russia is standing for the right to apply its standards in connection with the lunar orbit space missions.
The US side, however, made mentioned about the rationale for the big International Space Station, but if Russia contributed to the project limitedly, to the airlock module at the Lunar Orbital Platform, the use of the divergent standards would be acceptable.
Last 2017, the United States and Russia signed an agreement in building a gateway to the future of the deep space missions in the lunar orbit. These segments that Russia plans to build will serve as the exit for astronauts in going for spacewalks. The upcoming spacewalks will mark as the next extravehicular activity. It will also be the time that ISS astronauts to use the US-built space suits to walk and venture outside the spacecraft.
The new US space suit will allow the astronauts as well as the future spacewalkers to depart from the station at the NASA’s Quest airlock. It is also expected to use the US spacesuits for future spacewalks. The source also noted that all the systems of thermoregulation, electricity supply and the life support inside the module and the other interfaces should be an American one. During the negotiations of the partners, since NASA is the project’s leader, this is the reason why they set the rules.