MOSCOW (Sputnik) — The United States offers to use US-made space suits instead of Russian-made Orlan suits for conducting spacewalks outside the Lunar Orbital Platform-Gateway, a space industry source told Sputnik.
“They offer to conduct spacewalks via the Russian airlock in US-made space suits,” the source said.
According to the source, foreign partners explained such requests by the fact that Russia was not producing space suits designated for the Moon, noting that keeping two different sets of space suits would be irrational.
Along with it, the partners also insist that Russia should construct its airlock module in line with US standards and, hence, adjust it to US-made space suits which are designed for lunar orbit missions, the source added.
“The partners urge us to create the Russian airlock module for the Lunar Orbital Platform under US technical requirements and standards. It means that all the systems of electricity supply, thermoregulation, and life support inside the module, all interfaces must be American ones. During the negotiations, [the partners] reiterated that NASA is the project’s leader, that is why they set the rules,” the source noted.
The source clarified that the issue was discussed by all partners, the list of which, along with Russia and the United States, includes European countries, Canada and Japan. But the latter’s group of countries mostly use US standards in space industry since the launch of the International Space Station (ISS), while the ISS Russian segment has its own standards.
The sources said that Russia was standing for the right to apply its own standards with regard to lunar orbit space missions, just as with the case of the ISS, which is composed of several segments. The US side, however, said it was only rational for the big ISS, but if Russia’s contribution to the project was limited to an airlock module at the Lunar Orbital Platform — Gateway, the use of divergent standards would be unacceptable.
In 2017, Russia and the United States signed an agreement to build a gateway to future deep space missions in lunar orbit. The segment that Russia intends to build will serve as an exit for astronauts going on spacewalks.