Design Study for an Astronaut's Workstation 2005-01-3050
Restraints in space range between the simplicity of foot loops and the dissatisfaction of current restraints with a more welcome stabilization closer to the body's center of gravity. Although there is a line of upper thigh restraints, which come close to a terrestrial chair analogue, they are not currently implemented in design standards. In 1999 a team of architects and engineers at the University of Technology Munich developed a modular, foldable astronaut's workstation with integrated seat restraint. Prototypes were tested successfully on parabolic flights at NASA-JSC. In 2002 an exhibition model for the Space Station Mock-up at EADS Space in Bremen was ordered. Due to a limited budget, the original full aluminium design models had to be changed dramatically in construction to save costs. Nevertheless, the opportunity to rebuild the models for an exhibition has been taken, to study options to make the construction of the workstation much lighter. Although the limited budget did not allow to properly engineer some crucial details, the exhibition model allowed to test some alternative design approaches, resulting from the aftermath of the parabolic flights.