This paper discusses the potential need for space maintenance tools on long-duration, manned space missions currently expected during the 1972-1980 time period. A review of technical needs for tools is provided that suggests space maintenance capabilities can both maintain and extend system reliability, thereby enabling longer-duration mission times and greater assurance of crew safety.
Current analysis techniques used to determine high-priority maintenance requirements, tooling and checkout needs, and maintenance constraints upon system designs are also reviewed. The correlation between space maintenance at various levels of application, and a space maintenance tooling capability is described. Other correlations that serve to illustrate useful applications of space tools are reviewed, and are inclusive of the following:
Tools needed to maintain systems and tools used in experiments that provide information of value to the development of future spacecraft systems.
Primary functions of tools, and tooling aspects that satisfy space safety, space materials compatibility, launch vibration, and space translation requirements.
Methods and facilities useful for demonstration testing of space maintenance tools are both illustrated and described. Various facilities capable of simulating zero-g space environment are available as test beds for conduct of space-simulated maintenance operations. This paper emphasizes maximum use of ground-based, space simulation capabilities to gain experience with basic tool configurations, and man's adaptability to space maintenance tasks.