EVA Systems Technology Gaps and Priorities 2017



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47th International Conference on Environmental Systems


Performance of Extra-Vehicular Activities (EVA) has been and will continue to be a critical capability for human space flight. Human exploration missions beyond LEO will require EVA capability for either contingency or nominal activities to support mission objectives and reduce mission risk. EVA systems encompass a wide array of products across pressure suits, life support systems, EVA tools and unique spacecraft interface hardware (i.e. EVA Translation and EVA Worksite design…). In a fiscally limited environment with evolving transportation and habitation options, it is paramount that the EVA community’s strategic planning and architecture integration products be reviewed and vetted for traceability between the mission needs far into the future to the known technology and knowledge gaps to the current investments across EVA systems. To ascertain EVA technology and knowledge gaps many things need to be brought together, assessed and analyzed. This includes an understanding of the destination environments, various mission concept of operations, current state of the art of EVA systems, EVA operational lessons learned, and reference advanced capabilities. A combined assessment of these inputs should result in well-defined list of gaps. This list can then be prioritized depending on the mission need dates and time scale of the technology or knowledge gap closure plan.
This paper will summarize the current state of EVA related technology and knowledge gaps derived from NASA’s Exploration EVA Reference Architecture and Operations Concept products. By linking these products and articulating NASA’s approach to strategic development for EVA across all credible destinations an EVA could be done in, the identification of these gaps is then used to illustrate the tactical and strategic planning for the EVA technology development portfolio. Finally, this paper illustrates the various “touch points” with other human exploration risk identification areas including human health and performance.


Brian Johnson, NASA Johnson Space Center - Extravehicular Activity Office (EVA), USA
Jesse Buffington, NASA - Extravehicular Activity Office (EVA), USA
ICES401: Extravehicular Activity: Systems
The 47th International Conference on Environmental Systems was held in South Carolina, USA on 16 July 2017 through 20 July 2017


EVA Systems, Mission Definition and Planning, Technology Development