STS-49: A Demonstration of EMU Operational Capabilities for Space Station Freedom Assembly 921340
One of the primary objectives for Space Shuttle mission STS-49 is to perform three Extravehicular Activities (EVA's) on consecutive days in a manner similar to those planned for Space Station Freedom (SSF) assembly missions. The preparation and completion of this mission will serve as a pathfinder for future EVA intensive SSF assembly flights. Several operational issues pertaining to the Extravehicular Mobility Unit (EMU) have been addressed in preparation for this mission. Provisioning and orbiter stowage of the EMU and associated hardware have been optimized for four EVA crewmembers. EMU preparatory and maintenance activities have been streamlined to help minimize crew overhead and have been carefully integrated into a very demanding mission timeline. The constraints and limitations have been assessed in providing a backup EMU capability for each EVA crewmember. Several EMU concerns have also been addressed in supporting new EVA task requirements, such as large mass handling and performing SSF assembly operations over the crew cabin and nose of the Shuttle orbiter.