Testing of the NASA Exploration Extravehicular Mobility Unit Demonstration (xEMU Demo) Architecture at the Neutral Buoyancy Laboratory

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49th International Conference on Environmental Systems

Following Z-2 space suit testing that occurred from 2016-2017, the Exploration Extravehicular Mobility Unit (xEMU) Project was tasked with building a demonstration unit of the xEMU space suit to test on the International Space Station (ISS) in 2023. This suit is called xEMU Demonstration Suit (xEMU Demo). Based on feedback from astronauts during the Z-2 NBL test series, design changes were made, resulting in a new prototype suit called the Z-2.5 space suit. The design of the Z-2.5 space suit with an exploration Portable Life Support Systems (xPLSS) mock-up represents the architecture of xEMU Demo. The team is testing Z-2.5 in the NBL to evaluate this architecture and validate changes made from Z-2. The results will inform the xEMU Demo design going forward to its Preliminary Design Review (PDR) in the summer of 2019. This Z-2.5 NBL test series focuses on evaluating the microgravity performance of the suit and the ability to complete ISS-related tasks. The series is comprised of 10 manned runs and an unmanned corn-man run. Six test subjects, including four astronauts, will participate. The test objective is to evaluate ability xEMU Demo architecture to perform ISS microgravity tasks. Each crew members will complete both a familiarization run and a nominal EMU EVA timeline run. Qualitative and quantitative data will be collected to aid the assessment of the suit. Preliminary feedback from astronauts who have completed the test series evaluate the xEMU Demo architecture as acceptable to complete a demonstration mission on the ISS.

Kristine Davis, National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), USA
Ian Meginnis, National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), USA
ICES400: Extravehicular Activity: Space Suits
The 49th International Conference on Environmental Systems as held in Boston, Massachusetts, USA on 07 July 2019 through 11 July 2019.
xEMU demo, Exploration, xEMU, NBL, Z-2.5, Z-2, microgravity, EVA