Okay, we're intrigued.
What would humanity's return to the Moon be without a hint of Italian luxury?
Last summer, the commercial spaceflight venture Axiom Space won a lucrative contract with NASA to design the spacesuits for the agency's upcoming Artemis III Moon mission, which is tentatively slated for 2025.
But Axiom won't be designing the suits on its own — it's getting a hand from luxury fashion brand Prada.
In what was billed in a Wednesday press release as a "groundbreaking partnership," the Texas-based startup has officially partnered with the Milanese fashion house to collaborate on suit materials and designs.
"Prada's technical expertise with raw materials, manufacturing techniques, and innovative design concepts will bring advanced technologies instrumental in ensuring not only the comfort of astronauts on the lunar surface, but also the much-needed human factors considerations absent from legacy spacesuits," said Michael Suffredini, CEO of Axiom Space, in a statement.
In other words, Axiom is cooking up some serious space drip, as prophecied by pop sensation Katy Perry in her 2011 hit "E.T."
Prada, for its part, seems absolutely thrilled, with Prada Group marketing director Lorenzo Bertelli adding in the statement that "the constantly forward-thinking ethos of [house founder Mario Prada] for humanity has broadened to his desire of adventure and to brave new horizons: space."
"We are honored to be a part of this historic mission with Axiom Space," Bertelli continued.
While we have our doubts about the fashion brand's familiarity with spacesuits, an infamously difficult and expensive design challenge given the extreme environment, it's a refreshing new take.
The house has a history of doing interesting work with materials, and at the end of the day, it's hard to imagine that these spacesuits won't be a huge upgrade over the puffy and unflattering suits worn by NASA astronauts over the last 60-odd years.
And honestly, when it comes to designing next-gen spacesuits for humanity's first crack at establishing a long-term presence on Earth's only natural satellite, isn't that all we really want for our brave astronauts' outfits?
Besides, this new collaboration might be an incredibly savvy business move for Prada; after all, if humanity is to become a spacefaring species, it probably behooves the brand to get its foot in the interplanetary fashion door.
More on Axiom's spacesuits: NASA Debuts Its Brand New Sci-fi-inspired Moonsuit — but It's a Rental
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