Micrometeoroid Penetration Hazards Assessment for the Shuttle EMU 1999-01-1963
Micrometeoroid and orbital debris (MMOD) penetration hazards have been a concern for the large number of EVA’s (Extravehicular Activities) expected during the assembly and operation of the International Space Station (ISS). Earlier studies have shown large uncertainties in estimated spacesuit penetration risks. This paper reports the results of recent tests and analyses that have significantly expanded the Shuttle EMU (Extravehicular Mobility Unit) hypervelocity penetration database and clarified our understanding of the associated risks.
The results of testing have been used to develop improved estimates of the cumulative risk of penetration during EVA's through the first ten years after the beginning of ISS construction. These analyses have shown that the risks of MMOD penetration during EVA will be somewhat less than the risk of a critical penetration of the ISS itself over the same ten-year period.