NASA revealed a new prototype of the spacesuit destined to adorn the next astronauts on the Moon. But the look is a little misleading.

In an event on March 15, NASA and its new spacesuit contractor, Axiom Space, walked out their first iteration of the uniform for the Artemis generation of lunar astronauts.

Called the "AxEMY Next Generation," it's the spacesuit that will protect the first astronauts to walk on the lunar surface since 1972 – including the first woman and the first person of color to set foot on the Moon, as soon as 2025, according to NASA's plans.

Engineer demonstrating the new suit's flexibility by crouching down.
Axiom Space chief engineer Jim Stein shows off flexibility of the prototype, Houston, 15 March 2023. (David J. Phillip/AP Photo)

The get-up includes new joints that will allow astronauts to move more easily than the Apollo spacesuits, and boots made for walking instead of hopping, for the first-ever human landing on the Moon's frigid south pole.

But one defining feature overshadowed the others: color. Stylish stripes of orange and blue are laid across a dark suit, as black as the void of space.

The design echoes the sleek dark shine of SpaceX's Starship, the spacesuits in some sci-fi films, spacefaring Fortnite outfits, and other futuristic visions of cosmic exploration. But if an astronaut wore that on the Moon, they'd be in serious danger.

When the first Artemis moonwalkers step out of Starship and onto the lunar surface, they'll be wearing this Axiom spacesuit, but it will be white.

Astronaut saluting flag mid jump while on the moon in a white space suit.
Astronaut John Young saluting the flag while jumping during the Apollo 16 mission. (NASA/Charlie Duke)

Astronauts can't wear black on the Moon

The Apollo Moon suits were white for a reason.

In a harsh environment with no atmosphere to protect you from the Sun's radiation, temperature management is key for survival. Spacesuits have to be reflective and well-insulated to keep astronauts cool in the unfiltered glare of the Sun.

On the new prototype, "a cover layer is currently being used for display purposes only to conceal the suit's proprietary design," Axiom Space wrote in a press release.

Engineer holding one leg up off the ground in black space suit prototype
The prototype has a black cover to conceal the spacesuit's proprietary design. (David J. Phillip/AP Photo)

The company designed the cover layer with Esther Marquis, costume designer for the Apple TV+ series For All Mankind, which imagines what would happen if the space race had gone differently.

The real look of the spacesuit for the first Artemis mission remains a mystery for now.

Full view of the prototype black spacesuit
You can't dress like this on the Moon. (Manny Jawa/Axiom Space)

"The white version will be provided directly to NASA. We are providing a fleet of training spacesuits to be delivered to NASA by late this summer," Axiom spokesperson Meridyth Moore told Insider in an email.

As for a public reveal of the true white suit, Moore said, "We don't have a current date, but that's something we will continue to collaborate with NASA on."

This article was originally published by Business Insider.

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