Pilot Investigation: Nominal Crew Induced Forces in Zero-G 921155

Vibrational disturbance magnitude and frequency on space-flight missions is often a critical factor regarding mission success. Both materials processing experiments and astronomical investigations have specific microgravity environmental requirements. Recent efforts have been made to quantify the microgravity environment on the Space Shuttle Columbia by measuring gravity levels produced by specific mission events such as Orbiter engine burns, treadmill and ergometer activities, crew sleep periods, rotating chair operations, and body mass measurement operations. However, no measurements have been made of specific, nominal crewmember activities such as translating about the middeck, flight-deck, or in the Spacelab.
This report presents pilot-study data of test subject forces induced by intravehicular activities such as push-offs and landings with both hands and feet. Five subjects participated in this investigation. Three orthogonal force axes were measured in the NASA KC-135 research aircraft's “zero-g” environment. The largest forces were induced during vertical foot push-offs, including one of 534 newtons (120 lbs). The mean vertical foot push-off was 311 newtons (70 lbs). The vertical hand push-off forces were also relatively large, including one of 267 newtons (60 lbs) with a mean of 151 newtons (34 lbs). These force magnitudes of these forces would result in a Shuttle gravity environment of about 1x10-4 g's.


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