Orion Crew Survival System (OCSS) Suit Development Update



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2024 International Conference on Environmnetal Systems


This paper describes the most recent design and development activities of an IVA space suit designed for NASA's Orion spacecraft. The S1041 Orion Crew Survival System (OCSS) Suit is designed to be worn during launch, ascent, and entry, to protect crewmembers from a variety of hazards and contingencies. The suit also serves as a safe-haven/secondary pressurizable environment, which the crew can use in the event of a deep-space cabin depressurization.
This paper is a follow-on to that presented at ICES 2019, describing in detail the design, development and test efforts in the ensuing years. The paper focuses on recent glove and Communication Carrier Assembly design efforts, as well as system level qualification testing.
A new glove bladder has been developed for the OCSS program, which is robust to the elevated pressure and cycling regime inherent to the OCSS requirements. In addition to developing a new bladder material, new mold fabrication techniques have been developed to improve de-molding capability and glove bladder manufacturability. The new glove bladder has been subjected to rigorous qualification testing, results of which are detailed. The Communication Carrier Assembly (CCA), worn inside the OCSS helmet, has been completely redesigned to minimize head breadth while maintaining the required hearing protection. The design now incorporates Communication Ear Plugs (CEPs) in addition to supra-aural speakers, which can be used in tandem or independently, dependent on mission phase.
Finally, results from system-level qualification testing are presented, including drop tests and sled tests performed at Wright Patterson Air Force base. The suit is now fully qualified, and fabrication of the four custom suits for the prime crew of the Artemis II mission is ongoing, along with custom suits for the backup crewmembers.


Shane E. Jacobs, David Clark Company Incorporated, USA
Daniel F. Green, David Clark Company Incorporated, USA
Nicholas C. Deane, David Clark Company Incorporated, USA
Donald B. Tufts, David Clark Company Incorporated, USA
ICES400: Extravehicular Activity: Space Suits
The 53rd International Conference on Environmental Systems was held in Louisville, Kentucky, USA, on 21 July 2024 through 25 July 2024.


Space Suit, Orion, Design, Qualification