To support expected Space Station Extravehicular Activity (EVA) requirements, the Shuttle Extravehicular Mobility Unit (EMU) performance capability must provide a much greater operational endurance than was originally required for the Space Shuttle program: 25 EVAs in 180 days versus up to 3 EVAs in 15 days, all without servicing on earth. Recently, the Shuttle EMU has successfully completed a 25 EVA manned vacuum chamber test series which is the culmination of an endurance demonstration that also included Life Extension Testing of certain life limited components and unmanned life support system chamber testing.
This paper discusses laboratory component endurance life testing, manned one-atmosphere suit testing, unmanned chamber testing as well as 25 EVA manned vacuum chamber testing. Emphasis will be placed upon test philosophy, test objectives, hardware utilized, problems encountered, solutions developed during testing and test team organization. Notable test objectives include the verification of EMU performance with anticipated reprocessed Space Station water as an EVA consumable, successful microbial growth control and verification of hygiene procedures throughout the simulated mission period.