As plans progress for construction and maintenance of the international space station and, more importantly, private missions to LEO and beyond become viable, serious thought will need to be given to re-engineering EVA (space suit) systems to achieve greater range and reliability at dramatically reduced cost. This paper discusses alternative architectures for fully closed cycle portable life support systems (PLSS) that have been built and tested over the last decade for use in hazardous subaquatic environments. Fault tolerant design, both for the mechanical and computational hardware elements, was employed in the development of four generations of prototype devices. The culmination of these designs was successfully used to explore a 600 meter long underwater tunnel which began at a depth of 1353 meters vertically beneath the surface of the earth in southern Mexico. Lessons relating to survival and range enhancement on orbital and lunar EVA missions are presented.
Proceedings Title: 12th Conference on Space Manufacturing
Conference Dates: May 8-11, 1997
Conference Location: Princeton, NJ
Conference Title: Space Studies Institute
Pub Type: Conferences
construction, maintenance, space stations, space suits, life support systems, survival, systems failure, probability, systems analysis