Remote Field Site Space Suit Mobility Study Results 1999-01-1966
Advanced space suit mobility studies were successfully conducted during the period of May 2-17, 1998, under representative Lunar and Mars-like terrain conditions at remote field site locations in the Flagstaff, Arizona, area. The sites visited included Cinder Lake, a volcanic ash area that was an actual Apollo-era test site with simulated craters developed by the United States Geological Survey (USGS); SP Mountain, an area that contained a young lava field with extensive rock rubble; Grand Falls, a canyon area that contained a variety of rock outcroppings, volcanic ash, and rock rubble; and Meteor Crater, a young impact crater area that contained various slopes with loose rock rubble. The test activities were supported by a team of JSC personnel utilizing the MK III advanced space suit technology demonstrator suit and a NASA modified commercial liquid air backpack system. The suit test subject was Dr. Dean Eppler, a trained field geologist.
The purpose of the test activities was to obtain and quantify both subjective and objective (3-dimensional mobility analysis data) evaluations concerning general mobility characteristics of the advanced space suit mobility demonstration model while performing representative EVA surface exploration and mockup science module development task activities in geomorphically relevant (Lunar/Mars-like) terrestrial locations.
In addition to the evaluation of the mobility features of the advanced space suit demonstrator, engineering assessments were conducted in the utility and functionality of the self-contained liquid air back pack and the performance and suitability of the logistics support vehicle support system in a remote field site setting as opposed to controlled laboratory conditions.
This paper discusses the results and lessons learned generated during the test activities.
The information developed as a result of these test activities will be useful in determining the suitability of the various representative mobility and support systems performance technology features in regard to future Lunar and Mars space suit design application.