Moonwalk on the podium: discover the creations of the RISD students for the clothes that the astronauts wear during the NASA lunar mission 2025

The latest space news? The Rhode Island School of Design is designing clothes NASA astronauts could wear as they fly to the moon on the Artemis mission, which is currently scheduled for liftoff in 2025.

NASA’s last manned lunar landing was the Apollo 17 mission in 1972. For Artemis, the space agency now plans to send nine men and nine women to the moon aboard the Orion spacecraft. And when it comes to what they’ll wear on the trip, RISD students are helping NASA engineers develop the perfect outfit.

Clothes are a mission in “Pack Your Bags!” We’re Heading to the Moon,” a course in the school’s apparel design department taught by longtime RISD professor Catherine Andreozzi.

“Specifically, the class is studying which garments would be functional, comfortable, durable, breathable, aesthetically pleasing, cleanable, and capable of withstanding a 30-day mission to the moon,” Andreozzi said in a statement. “They balance budgetary restrictions due to the high cost of space travel as well as flammability regulations while considering the basic human needs of astronauts.”

Ann Dinh’s clothing design for “Pack Your Bags!” of RISD. We’re Heading to the Moon,” which helps NASA engineers equip astronauts for the 2025 Artemis mission to the moon. Image courtesy of Rhode Island School of Design.

Guest speakers for the class included retired NASA astronaut Nicole Stott, who spent a total of 104 days in space, aboard the International Space Station and the Space Shuttle.

This experience has made her well-equipped to provide students with insight into the unique conditions of spaceflight and how clothing should be adapted to a zero-gravity environment, where the body moves in different ways than on earth. (Consider, for example, the challenges of going to the bathroom in weightlessness.)

Other concerns include the availability of privacy in a compact space and the variation in temperatures aboard a spacecraft.

Retired NASA astronaut Nichole Stott in space.  Photo courtesy of NASA.

Retired NASA astronaut Nichole Stott in space. Photo courtesy of NASA.

And the essential accessory for any space outfit, according to Stott, might surprise you: Velcro. Stott said she had hook-and-loop fastener strips on her pants, which allowed her to quickly and easily attach any tools she wanted to carry while floating around the spacecraft.

A design by Avantika Velho offered a different solution in the form of numerous pockets and ties. Jacklyn Kim and Ann Dinh, meanwhile, each offered their take on space-age sportswear, while Emilia Mann offered a warm-yet-ventilated knit microgravity sock, and Samantha Ho imagined padded socks designed to be worn under larger space boots.

“Nicole Stott told us that the tops of her feet were rubbed raw on the space station, and that really stuck with me,” Ho said in a statement. “I designed this integrated system using 3D knitted socks to provide extra padding where astronauts need it.”

Shoe design by Samantha Ho for RISD

Samantha Ho’s shoe design for “Pack Your Bags! We’re Heading to the Moon,” which helps NASA engineers equip astronauts for the 2025 Artemis mission to the moon. Image courtesy of Rhode Island School of Design.

Students in the class assemble models of gender-neutral capsule collections that will be reviewed by NASA staff, including RISD alumnus Molly Harwood, who works at NASA’s Softgoods Lab. If NASA thinks the designs have potential, they will test them and perhaps incorporate some aspects of them into Artemis crew clothing.

The course is not alone at RISD in asking students to come up with designs for outer space challenges. Other courses offered include “Design for Extreme Environments” and “Designing for Life Off Planet”.

There is also the school’s Space Design Club, founded in the fall of 2020. And the school’s students participate in the NASA SUITS (Spacesuit User Interface Technologies for Students) competitions, the Human Exploration Rover Challenge Competition and the BIG IdeaChallenge. A team from Brown and RISD won the “Most Creative Concept” award at the latter in 2021 and was one of three RISD projects selected by NASA for further development.

See more models from the class below.

Clothing design by Jacklyn Kim for RISD

Jacklyn Kim’s clothing design for “Pack Your Bags! We’re Heading to the Moon,” which helps NASA engineers equip astronauts for the 2025 Artemis mission to the moon. Image courtesy of Rhode Island School of Design.

Emilia Mann's sock design for RISD

Emilia Mann’s sock design for “Pack Your Bags! We’re Heading to the Moon,” which helps NASA engineers equip astronauts for the 2025 Artemis mission to the moon. Image courtesy of Rhode Island School of Design.

Avantika Velho's clothing design for RISD

Avantika Velho’s clothing design for “Pack Your Bags! We’re Heading to the Moon,” which helps NASA engineers equip astronauts for the 2025 Artemis mission to the moon. Image courtesy of Rhode Island School of Design.

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