Design Considerations for Future Planetary Space Suits 901428
Manned extravehicular activity (EVA) operations will be major mission elements of planned future U.S. space operations. Whether designed for orbital operations or planetary surface exploration, the EVA system must be safe and reliable, and must provide a high degree of performance capabilities. An extravehicular mobility unit (EMU) consisting of a space suit, EVA gloves, and a portable life support system (PLSS) is central to the EVA system. A rugged, highly reliable, mobile, reusable, and easily maintained EVA suit and compact PLSS must meet the specific requirements of the intended mission. Additional requirements imposed by exposure to surface and gravitational environments are the need for lightweight, high-strength materials for fabricating EMU's to prevent astronaut fatigue and the need for dust protection measures and removal techniques to prevent contamination. Also, operational pressure for habitats should be chosen so as to maintain zero-prebreathe conditions while allowing for lower EMU operating pressure.