International EVA Systems - Interoperability Status - 941553
The European Agency (ESA) and the Russian Space Agency (RKA) are jointly developing a new space suit system for improved extravehicular activity (EVA) capabilities in support of the MIR2 Space Station Programme, the EVA Suit 2000. Recent national policy agreements between the U.S. and Russia on planned cooperations in manned space also propose the development of a common space suit system for potential use with the International Space Station.
It is thus timely to report the current status of ongoing work on international EVA interoperability being conducted by the Committee on EVA Protocols and Operations of the International Academy of Astronautics initiated in 1991.
This paper summarises the current EVA interoperability issues to be resolved and presents quantified vehicle interface requirements for the current U.S. Shuttle EMU and Russian MIR Orlan DMA and the new European/Russian EVA Suit 2000 extravehicular systems. An assessment of compatibility for combinations of suits/mothercraft has been performed, and preliminary recommendations to remedy incompatibilities are given.