Development of Higher Operating Pressure Extravehicular Space-Suit Glove Assemblies 881102
During the early period of space-suit glove development, heavy reliance was placed on military high-altitude-aircraft full-pressure-suit technology. This status was typical of Project Mercury and early in the Gemini Program. Longer space flights and the advent of extravehicular (EV) operations required drastic improvements in the areas of comfort and mobility, and the incorporation of an EV-hazards protective coverlayer. The current advanced glove designs represent a series of evolutionary engineering efforts aimed at systematically improving higher operating pressure EV glove performance capabilities. The key glove performance issue becomes one of finding the proper balance between the basic protective requirements (i.e., EV environmental hazards) and the performance requirements of the functional glove assembly. Glove design complexity increases with the differential pressure between the glove and the vacuum of space and with the EV activity mobility task requirements. Current space-suit glove design activities associated with the development of candidate higher operating pressure (57.2 kN/m2 (8.3 psi)) glove assemblies are described.