Spacesuit Cooling on the Moon and Mars 2009-01-2418
NASA is planning to return to the moon and then explore Mars. A permanent base at the south pole of the moon will be the test bed for Mars. At the moon base, two crewmembers are expected to conduct Extravehicular Activity (EVA) six days every week. Current spacesuits are cooled by the sublimation of water ice into vacuum. A single 7 hour EVA near the lunar equator in daylight can expend up to 5 kilograms of water. Because of the high cost of transporting spacesuit cooling water to the moon, the water for one EVA could cost hundreds of thousands of dollars. The lunar south pole and Mars have low surface temperatures that make cooling much easier than at the lunar equator. Alternate cooling methods and staying in cool environments can reduce or eliminate the use of water for spacesuit cooling. If cooling water is not needed, a recycling life support system can provide all the required crew water and oxygen without transporting additional water from Earth.