Development of the NASA ZPS Mark III 57.2-kN/m
(8.3 psi) Space Suit
The NASA-developed space-suit configurations for Project Mercury and the Gemini Program originated from high-altitude-aircraft full-pressure-suit technology. These early suits lacked sophisticated mobility systems, since the suit served primarily as a backup system against the loss of cabin pressure and required limited pressurized intravehicular mobility functions for a return capability. Beginning with the Gemini Program, enhanced mobility systems were developed to enable crewmembers to perform useful tasks outside the spacecraft. The zero-prebreathe Hark III (ZPS Mk III) model of a higher operating pressure (57.2 kN/m2 (8.3 psi)) space-suit assembly represents a significant phase in the evolutionary development of a candidate operational space-suit system for the Space Station Program. The various design features and planned testing activities for the ZPS Mk III 57.2-kN/m2 (8.3 psi) space suit are described and identified.