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Technical Paper

Micrometeoroid and Orbital Debris Enhancements of Shuttle Extravehicular Mobility Unit Thermal Micrometeoroid Garment

As NASA is preparing to extend man's reach into space, it is expected that astronauts will be required to spend more and more time exposed to the hazards of performing Extra-Vehicular Activity (EVA). One of these hazards includes the risk of the space suit bladder being penetrated by hypervelocity micrometeoroid and orbital debris (MMOD) particles. Therefore, it has become increasingly important to investigate new ways to improve the protectiveness of the current Extravehicular Mobility Unit (EMU) against MMOD penetration. ILC Dover conducted a NASA funded study into identifying methods of improving the current EMU protection. The first part of this evaluation focused on identifying how to increase the EMU shielding, selecting materials to accomplish this, and testing these materials to determine the best lay-up combinations to integrate into the current thermal micrometeoroid garment (TMG) design.
Technical Paper

Rapid Microbial Analysis during Simulated Surface EVA at Meteor Crater: Implications for Human Exploration of the Moon and Mars

Procedures for rapid microbiological analysis were performed during simulated surface extra-vehicular activity (EVA) at Meteor Crater, Arizona. The fully suited operator swabbed rock (‘unknown’ sample), spacesuit glove (contamination control) and air (negative control). Each swab sample was analyzed for lipopolysaccharide (LPS) and β-1, 3-glucan within 10 minutes by the handheld LOCAD PTS instrument, scheduled for flight to ISS on space shuttle STS-116. This simulated a rapid and preliminary ‘life detection’ test (with contamination control) that a human could perform on Mars. Eight techniques were also evaluated for their ability to clean and remove LPS and β-1, 3-glucan from five surface materials of the EVA Mobility Unit (EMU). While chemical/mechanical techniques were effective at cleaning smooth surfaces (e.g. RTV silicon), they were less so with porous fabrics (e.g. TMG gauntlet).
Journal Article

Common Helmet Design for Launch, Entry, & Abort and EVA Activities – A Discussion on the Design and Selection Process of Helmets for Future Manned Flight

Effective helmet performance is a critical component to achieving safe and efficient missions along the entire timeline; from launch and entry events to operations in a micro-gravity environment to exploration of a planetary surface, the helmet system is the capstone of the pressurized space suit assembly. Each phase of a mission requires uncompromising protection in the form of a robust pressure vessel and adequate protection from impact, both interior and exterior, all while remaining relatively comfortable and providing excellent visual interaction with the environment. Historically there have been large voids between these critical characteristics with the primary focus concerning the pressure vessel first and impact protection and crew comfort second. ILC Dover, NASA-JSC, Gentex Corporation, and Hamilton Sundstrand formed an Integrated Product Team (IPT) and conducted a NASA funded study to research and evaluate new concepts in helmet design.