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Technical Paper

System Overview and Operations of the MX-2 Neutral Buoyancy Space Suit Analogue

2006-07-17
2006-01-2287
A fully operational space suit analogue for use in a neutral buoyancy environment has been developed and tested by the University of Maryland’s Space Systems Laboratory. Repeated manned operations in the Neutral Buoyancy Research Facility have shown the MX-2 suit analogue to be a realistic simulation of operational EVA pressure suits. The suit is routinely used for EVA simulation, providing reasonable joint restrictions, work envelopes, and visual and audio environments comparable to those of current EVA suits. Improved gloves and boots, communications carrier assembly, in-suit drink bag and harness system have furthered the semblance to EVA. Advanced resizing and ballasting systems have enabled subjects ranging in height from 5′8″ to 6′3″ and within a range of 120 lbs to obtain experience in the suit. Furthermore, integral suit instrumentation facilitates monitoring and collection of critical data on both the suit and the subject.
Technical Paper

The Ranger Telerobotic Shuttle Experiment: Implications for Operational EVA/Robotic Cooperation

2000-07-10
2000-01-2359
The Ranger Telerobotic Shuttle Experiment (RTSX) is a Space Shuttle-based flight experiment to demonstrate key telerobotic technologies for servicing assets in Earth orbit. The flight system will be teleoperated from onboard the Space Shuttle and from a ground control station at the NASA Johnson Space Center. The robot, along with supporting equipment and task elements, will be located in the Shuttle payload bay. A number of relevant servicing operations will be performed-including extravehicular activity (EVA) worksite setup, orbital replaceable unit (ORU) exchange, and other dexterous tasks. The program is underway toward an anticipated launch date in CY2002. This paper gives an overview of the RTSX mission, and describes several follow-on mission scenarios involving cooperative Ranger and EVA activities.
Technical Paper

Development and Testing Update on the MX-2 Neutral Buoyancy Space Suit Analogue

2004-07-19
2004-01-2343
The University of Maryland Space Systems Laboratory has developed a system that replicates some limited aspects of pressure suits to facilitate neutral buoyancy research into EVA bioinstrumentation, advanced EVA training, and EVA/robotic interactions. After a two year upgrade from its MX-1 predecessor, the MX-2 space suit analogue is currently undergoing a variety of system integration tests in preparation for initial operational testing, leading to routine use for EVA simulation and as a testbed for advanced space suit technology. The MX-2 is built around a hard upper torso with integrated hemispherical helmet and rear-entry hatch. Three-layer soft-goods are used for the arms and lower torso, while an open loop air system regulates suit pressure to 3 psid. Wrist disconnects allow the use of standard EMU or Orlan gloves, or experimental gloves such as the mechanical counterpressure gloves and power-assisted gloves developed previously by the SSL.
Journal Article

Minimum Functionality Lunar Habitat Element Design: Requirements and Definition of an Initial Human Establishment on the Moon

2009-07-12
2009-01-2369
This paper summarizes the activities of the University of Maryland Space Systems Laboratory in performing a design study for a minimum functionality lunar habitat element for NASA's Exploration Systems Mission Directorate. By creating and deploying a survey to personnel experienced in Earth analogues, primarily shipboard and Antarctic habitats, a list of critical habitat functions was established, along with their relative importance and their impact on systems design/implementation. Based on a review of relevant past literature and the survey results, four habitat concepts were developed, focused on interior space layout and preliminary systems sizing. Those concepts were then evaluated for habitability through virtual reality (VR) techniques and merged into a single design. Trade studies were conducted on habitat systems, and the final design was synthesized based on all of the results.
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