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Development of a space activity suitThe development of a series of prototype space activity suit (SAS) assemblies is discussed. The SAS is a new type of pressure suit designed especially for extravehicular activity. It consists of a set of carefully tailored elastic fabric garments which have been engineered to supply sufficient counterpressure to the body to permit subjects to breath O2 at pressures up to 200 mm Hg without circulatory difficulty. A closed, positive pressure breathing system (PPBS) and a full bubble helmet were also developed to complete the system. The ultimate goal of the SAS is to improve the range of activity and decrease the energy cost of work associated with wearing conventional gas filled pressure suits. Results are presented from both laboratory (1 atmosphere) and altitude chamber tests with subjects wearing various SAS assemblies. In laboratory tests lasting up to three hours, the SAS was worn while subjects breathed O2 at pressures up to 170 mm Hg without developing physiological problems. The only physiological symptoms apparent were a moderate tachycardia related to breathing pressures above 130 mm Hg, and a small collection of edema fluid in the hands. Both problems were considered to be related to areas of under-pressurization by the garments. These problems, it is suggested, can ultimately be corrected by the development of new elastic fabrics and tailoring techniques. Energy cost of activity, and mobility and dexterity of subjects in the SAS, were found to be superior to those in comparable tests on subjects in full pressure suits.
Document ID
Document Type
Contractor Report (CR)
Annis, J. F.
(Webb Associates Yellow Springs, OH, United States)
Webb, P.
(Webb Associates Yellow Springs, OH, United States)
Date Acquired
September 2, 2013
Publication Date
November 1, 1971
Publication Information
Publisher: NASA
Subject Category
Report/Patent Number
Accession Number
Funding Number(s)
Distribution Limits
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.
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