Final Frontier Design Receives NASA Funding to Develop Lunar Boot

NASA has selected Final Frontier Design of Brooklyn, NY, for funding to develop an advanced boot for astronauts to walk on the moon.

The award under the space agency’s Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase I program is worth $125,000 over six months.

The Surface Space Suit Boot (SSSB) “leverages decades of Lunar boot development and includes an advanced ankle mobility joint, a unique closure system, next generation outer garment materials, and an advanced polymer that will withstand the harsh environment of the moon,” the company said in its proposal summary.

The proposal summary follows.

Surface Space Suit Boot
Subtopic Title: Exploration Pressure Garment System (xPGS)
for deep space and surface missions

Principal Investigator
Nikolay NY

Estimated Technology Readiness Level (TRL) :
Begin: 3
End: 4

Technical Abstract

The Surface Space Suit Boot (SSSB) is an advanced subsystem level project that addresses several issues in planetary boots including mobility, thermal protection, stability and comfort, and dust migration. The SSSB leverages decades of Lunar boot development and includes an advanced ankle mobility joint, a unique closure system, next generation outer garment materials, and an advanced polymer that will withstand the harsh environment of the moon.

Phase I includes 2 iterations of development of the boot, and a variety of tests to validate performance. A partnership with the industry leader in outer boot soles, Vibram, will add extensive experience in outer sole design and technology.

Potential NASA Applications

NASA’s next generation space suits are likely destined for the Lunar surface. The Deep Space Gateway (DSG) will serve not only as a scientific platform, but also as a staging point for lunar operations. A recent Broad Agency Announcement (BAA) for human lunar landers further clarifies NASA’s exploration intentions. Any space suit designed for surface operations will need an advanced boot such as this to operate in the extreme conditions of the moon.

Potential Non-NASA Applications

Multiple elements of this project have potential non-NASA applications. The boot sole developed by Vibram will likely be leveraged for commercial applications and advertising. The unique closure system proposed by Final Frontier Design has applications in industrial boots, sportswear and ski boots, and compression garments.

Duration: 6 month