NASA Advanced Space Suit Pressure Garment System Status and Development Priorities 2019



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49th International Conference on Environmental Systems


This paper discusses the current focus of NASA’s Advanced Space Suit Pressure Garment Technology Development team’s efforts, the status of that work, and a summary of longer term technology development priorities and activities. The Exploration Extra-vehicular Activity Unit (xEMU) project’s International Space Station Demonstration Suit (xEMU Demo) project continues to be the team’s primary customer and effort. In 2018 the team was engaged in addressing hardware design changes identified in the Z-2 pressure garment prototype Neutral Buoyancy Laboratory (NBL) test results. These changes will be discussed. Additionally components whose first iterations were produced in 2018 will be discussed. A full pressure garment prototype, termed Z-2.5, was assembled that is composed of updated and first prototype iteration hardware. Z-2.5 NBL testing, performed from October 2018 through April 2019 will inform final design iterations in preparation for the xEMU Demo preliminary design review planned to occur in the third quarter of government fiscal year 2019. A primary objective of the Z-2.5 NBL testing is to validate changes made to the hard upper torso geometry, which depart from the planetary walking suit upper torso geometry that has been used over the last 30 years. The team continues to work technology development, with GFY2018 work being used to supplement and feed the gaps left by the scope defined for the xEMU Demo. Specifically, a Phase IIx Small Business Innovative Research Grant to mature durable bearings that are compatible with a dust environment and a grant funded by the Science Technology Mission Directorate, Lightweight and Robust Space Suit (LARSS) project, to mature planetary impact requirements and hardware will be described. Finally, a brief review of longer-term pressure garment challenges and technology gaps will be presented to provide an understanding of the advanced pressure garment team’s technology investment priorities and needs.


Amy Ross, National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), USA
Richard Rhodes, National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), USA
Shane Mcfarland, National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), USA
ICES400: Extravehicular Activity: Space Suits


Space Suit, Extravehicular Activity (EVA), Pressure Garment System, Exploration, Neutral Buoyancy Laboratory, Spacesuit