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Technical Paper

Extravehicular Activity Metabolic Profile Development Based on Apollo, Skylab, and Shuttle Missions

1997-07-01
972502
The importance of being able to determine the usage rate of life support subsystem consumables was recognized well before the first Apollo Extravehicular Activity (EVA). Since that time, metabolic activity levels have been evaluated and recorded for each EVA crew member. Throughout the history of the United States space program, EVA metabolic rates have been shown to be variable depending upon the mission scenario and the equipment used. Knowing this historic information is invaluable for current EVA planning activities, as well as for the design of future Extravehicular Mobility Unit (EMU) systems. This paper presents an overview of historic metabolic expenditures for Apollo, Skylab, and Shuttle missions, along with a discussion of the types of EVA crew member activities which lead to various metabolic rate levels, and a discussion on how this data is being used to develop advanced EMU systems.
Technical Paper

First Lunar Outpost Extravehicular Life Support System Evaluation

1993-07-01
932188
A preliminary evaluation of several portable life support system (PLSS) concepts which could be used during the First Lunar Outpost (FLO) mission extravehicular activities (EVA's) has been performed. The weight, volume and consumables characteristics for the various PLSS concepts were estimated. Thermal effects of day and night EVA's on PLSS consumables usage and hardware requirements were evaluated. The benefit of adding a radiator and the total PLSS weight to be carried by the astronaut were also evaluated for each of the concepts. The results of the evaluation were used to provide baseline weight, volume and consumables characteristics of the PLSS to be used on the 45 day FLO mission. The benefit of radiators was shown to be substantial. Considerable consumables savings were predicted for EVA schedules with a high concentration of nighttime EVA's versus daytime EVA's.
Technical Paper

A Test Plan for Sensitivity of Hollow Fiber Spacesuit Water Membrane Evaporator Systems to Potable Water Constituents, Contaminants and Air Bubbles

2008-06-29
2008-01-2113
The Spacesuit Water Membrane Evaporator (SWME) is the baseline heat rejection technology selected for development for the Constellation lunar suit. The first SWME prototype, designed, built, and tested at Johnson Space Center in 1999 used a Teflon hydrophobic porous membrane sheet shaped into an annulus to provide cooling to the coolant loop through water evaporation to the vacuum of space. This present study describes the test methodology and planning to compare the test performance of three commercially available hollow fiber materials as alternatives to the sheet membrane prototype for SWME, in particular, a porous hydrophobic polypropylene, and two variants that employ ion exchange through non-porous hydrophilic modified Nafion. Contamination tests will be performed to probe for sensitivities of the candidate SWME elements to ordinary constituents that are expected to be found in the potable water provided by the vehicle, the target feedwater source.
Technical Paper

Lightweight, Flexible, and Freezable Heat Pump/Radiator for EVA Suits

2008-06-29
2008-01-2112
We have completed preliminary tests that show the feasibility of an innovative concept for a spacesuit thermal control system using a lightweight, flexible heat pump/radiator. The heat pump/radiator is part of a regenerable LiCI/water absorption cooling device that absorbs an astronaut's metabolic heat and rejects it to the environment via thermal radiation at a relatively high temperature. We identified key design specifications for the system, demonstrated that it is feasible to fabricate the flexible radiator, measured the heat rejection capability of the radiator, and assessed the effects on overall mass of the PLSS. We specified system design features that will enable the flexible absorber/radiator to operate in a wide range of space exploration environments. The materials used to fabricate the flexible absorber/radiator samples were all found to be low off-gassing and many have already been qualified for use in space.
Technical Paper

Flexible Fabrics with High Thermal Conductivity for Advanced Spacesuits

2006-07-17
2006-01-2236
This paper describes the effort and accomplishments for developing flexible fabrics with high thermal conductivity (FFHTC) for spacesuits to improve thermal performance, lower weight and reduce complexity. Commercial and additional space exploration applications that require substantial performance enhancements in removal and transport of heat away from equipment as well as from the human body can benefit from this technology. Improvements in thermal conductivity were achieved through the use of modified polymers containing thermally conductive additives. The objective of the FFHTC effort is to significantly improve the thermal conductivity of the liquid cooled ventilation garment by improving the thermal conductivity of the subcomponents (i.e., fabric and plastic tubes).
Technical Paper

Thermal Performance of Space Suit Elements with Aerogel Insulation for Moon and Mars Exploration

2006-07-17
2006-01-2235
Flexible fiber-reinforced aerogel composites were studied for use as insulation materials of a future space suit for Moon and Mars exploration. High flexibility and good thermal insulation properties of fiber-reinforced silica aerogel composites at both high and low vacuum conditions make it a promising insulation candidate for the space suit application. This paper first presents the results of a durability (mechanical cycling) study of these aerogels composites in the context of retaining their thermal performance. The study shows that some of these Aerogels materials retained most of their insulation performance after up to 250,000 cycles of mechanical flex cycling. This paper also examines the problem of integrating these flexible aerogel composites into the current space suit elements.
Technical Paper

Advanced Airlock Concept Studies for Exploration Surface Systems

2006-07-17
2006-01-2234
This paper presents results of advanced airlock concept studies conducted at the NASA Johnson Space Center in support of exploration surface systems, such as lunar lander airlocks and other advanced vehicle airlocks. The studies include preliminary requirements for advanced airlocks, and rationale for using the rear-entry space suit as the basic advanced suit design to be accommodated by the airlocks. The studies also present rationale for minimum volume airlocks and gas reclamation methods needed for long duration missions. Another study shows conceptual designs for single person airlocks, dual person airlocks, and multi-person airlocks, along with associated benefits and disadvantages of each. A test and selection methodology is also discussed for future airlock development.
Technical Paper

Space Suit Radiator Performance in Lunar and Mars Environments

2007-07-09
2007-01-3275
During an ExtraVehicular Activity (EVA), both the heat generated by the astronaut's metabolism and that produced by the Portable Life Support System (PLSS) must be rejected to space. The heat sources include the heat of adsorption of metabolic CO2, the heat of condensation of water, the heat removed from the body by the liquid cooling garment and the load from the electrical components. Although the sublimator hardware to reject this load weighs only 1.58 kg (3.48 lbm), an additional 3.6 kg (8 lbm) of water are loaded into the unit, most of which is sublimated and lost to space, thus becoming the single largest expendable during an eight-hour EVA. Using a radiator to reject heat from the astronaut during an EVA can reduce the amount of expendable water consumed in the sublimator. Last year we reported on the design and initial operational assessment tests of a novel radiator designated the Radiator And Freeze Tolerant heat eXchanger (RAFT-X).
Technical Paper

Mechanical Properties and Durability Study of Aerogel-Base Thermal Insulation for Advanced Space Suit

2003-07-07
2003-01-2446
Fiber-reinforced Aerogel composite insulations provide superior thermal insulation protection in both the low-earth orbit (LEO) and near-earth neighborhood planetary environments. The flexible nature and thermal properties of these materials make them the best insulation candidates for advanced space suit application. This paper reviews the properties of various Aerogel composite materials developed for NASA by Aspen Systems, Inc. Previous studies showed that the Aerogel materials retained acceptable thermal performance after some amount of mechanical cycling. The goal of the current work is to reach a complete understanding of the mechanical properties of these materials in the domain of space suit application. Hence, a good knowledge of the durability of the aerogel composites is needed. This paper presents the extensive testing program needed to determine the life of these insulations for advanced space suit application.
Technical Paper

Aerogel-Based Insulation for Advanced Space Suit

2002-07-15
2002-01-2316
Future spacesuits will require thermal insulation protection in low-earth orbit (LEO), in the near-earth neighborhood and in planetary environments. In order to satisfy all future exploration needs and lower production and maintenance costs, a common thermal insulation is desirable that will perform well in all these environments. A highly promising material is a fiber-reinforced aerogel composite insulation currently being developed at the Johnson Space Center. This paper presents an overview of aerogels and their manufacture, a summary of the development of a flexible fiber-based aerogel for NASA by Aspen Aerogels, Inc., and performance data of aerogels relative to flexible commercial insulation. Finally, future plans are presented of how an aerogel-based insulation may be integrated into a spacesuit for ground testing as well as for a flight configuration.
Technical Paper

Thermal Conductivity of Lofty Nonwovens in Space and Planetary Vacuum Environment

2001-07-09
2001-01-2166
For planetary exploration, new thermal insulation materials are needed to deal with unique environmental conditions presented to extravehicular activity (EVA). The thermal insulation material and system used in the existing space suit were specifically designed for low orbit environment. They are not adequate for low vacuum condition commonly found in planetary environments with a gas atmosphere. This study attempts to identify the types of lofty nonwoven thermal insulation materials and the construction parameters that yield the best performance for such application. Lofty nonwovens with different construction parameters are evaluated for their thermal conductivity performance. Three different types of fiber material: solid round fiber, hollow fiber, and grooved fiber, with various denier, needling intensity, and web density were evaluated.
Journal Article

Minimizing EVA Airlock Time and Depress Gas Losses

2008-06-29
2008-01-2030
This paper describes the need and solution for minimizing EVA airlock time and depress gas losses using a new method that minimizes EVA out-the-door time for a suited astronaut and reclaims most of the airlock depress gas. This method consists of one or more related concepts that use an evacuated reservoir tank to store and reclaim the airlock depress gas. The evacuated tank can be an inflatable tank, a spent fuel tank from a lunar lander descent stage, or a backup airlock. During EVA airlock operations, the airlock and reservoir would be equalized at some low pressure, and through proper selection of reservoir size, most of the depress gas would be stored in the reservoir for later reclamation. The benefit of this method is directly applicable to long duration lunar and Mars missions that require multiple EVA missions (up to 100, two-person lunar EVAs) and conservation of consumables, including depress pump power and depress gas.
Journal Article

A Freezable Heat Exchanger for Space Suit Radiator Systems

2008-06-29
2008-01-2111
During an ExtraVehicular Activity (EVA), both the heat generated by the astronaut's metabolism and that produced by the Portable Life Support System (PLSS) must be rejected to space. The heat sources include the heat of adsorption of metabolic CO2, the heat of condensation of water, the heat removed from the body by the liquid cooling garment, the load from the electrical components and incident radiation. Although the sublimator hardware to reject this load weighs only 1.58 kg (3.48 lbm), an additional 3.6 kg (8 lbm) of water are loaded into the unit, most of which is sublimated and lost to space, thus becoming the single largest expendable during an eight-hour EVA. Using a radiator to reject heat from the astronaut during an EVA can reduce the amount of expendable water consumed in the sublimator. Radiators have no moving parts and are thus simple and highly reliable. However, past freezable radiators have been too heavy.
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