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Modified Advanced Crew Escape Suit Intravehicular Activity Suit for Extravehicular Activity Mobility EvaluationsThe use of an intravehicular activity (IVA) suit for a spacewalk or extravehicular activity (EVA) was evaluated for mobility and usability in the Neutral Buoyancy Laboratory (NBL) environment at the Sonny Carter Training Facility near NASA Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas. The Space Shuttle Advanced Crew Escape Suit was modified to integrate with the Orion spacecraft. The first several missions of the Orion Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle will not have mass available to carry an EVA-specific suit; therefore, any EVA required will have to be performed by the Modified Advanced Crew Escape Suit (MACES). Since the MACES was not designed with EVA in mind, it was unknown what mobility the suit would be able to provide for an EVA or whether a person could perform useful tasks for an extended time inside the pressurized suit. The suit was evaluated in multiple NBL runs by a variety of subjects, including crewmembers with significant EVA experience. Various functional mobility tasks performed included: translation, body positioning, tool carrying, body stabilization, equipment handling, and tool usage. Hardware configurations included with and without Thermal Micrometeoroid Garment, suit with IVA gloves and suit with EVA gloves. Most tasks were completed on International Space Station mock-ups with existing EVA tools. Some limited tasks were completed with prototype tools on a simulated rocky surface. Major findings include: demonstrating the ability to weigh-out the suit, understanding the need to have subjects perform multiple runs prior to getting feedback, determining critical sizing factors, and need for adjusting suit work envelope. Early testing demonstrated the feasibility of EVA's limited duration and limited scope. Further testing is required with more flight-like tasking and constraints to validate these early results. If the suit is used for EVA, it will require mission-specific modifications for umbilical management or Primary Life Support System integration, safety tether attachment, and tool interfaces. These evaluations are continuing through calendar year 2014.
Document ID
Document Type
Conference Paper
Watson, Richard D. (NASA Johnson Space Center Houston, TX, United States)
Date Acquired
August 12, 2014
Publication Date
July 13, 2014
Subject Category
Man/System Technology and Life Support
Space Transportation and Safety
Report/Patent Number
Meeting Information
International Conference on Environmental Systems(Tucson, AZ)
Distribution Limits
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.

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