Concept of Mechanical Interfaces for Planetary Space Suit to Airlock and Rover 2002-01-2313
Advanced projects envisage multiple EVAs on the planetary surface and great distances to be covered by EVA astronauts during manned Mars missions. Astronauts' egress with special Martian EVA space suits on can be provided only through the landing module/spacecraft airlock. To move over the planet, astronauts are expected both to walk and use a planetary rover (Martian rover).
To make EVA activities on the planetary surface successful, an optimized concept for space suit attachment both to the airlock and Martian rover should be developed. The paper considers concept options of the planetary space suit (PSS)/airlock and PSS/Martian rover mechanical interfaces based on patent information study and analysis of development, test and operation data for the EVA space suits. The paper proposes an option of the concept that, in the authors' viewpoint, fulfills in the best way the following tasks: astronauts' unassisted capability to fulfill all airlock procedures, space vehicle ingress/egress, Martian rover ingress/egress and control of driving.
The selected interface concept is based on the space suit design with a hard upper torso (HUT) and a rear entry hatch. The concept provides for HUT-mounted attachment points and their mating fasteners located on the airlock wall and on the Martian rover. Using the same interfaces, the suited astronaut can be attached to the Martian rover working station and to the airlock. There are no usual seats on the Martian rover, consequently, there is no need to sit and stand in the rover. Ingress to and egress from the Martian rover become comfortable. To have a rest, an astronaut can “sit” inside the suit. This paper presents interfaces' design concepts and application method.