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The Effects of Extravehicular Activity (EVA) Glove Pressure on Hand StrengthWith the new vision of space travel aimed at traveling back to the Moon and eventually to Mars, NASA is designing a new spacesuit glove. The purpose of this study was to baseline hand strength while wearing the current Extravehicular Activity (EVA) glove, the Phase VI. By varying the pressure in the glove, hand strength could be characterized as a function of spacesuit pressure. This finding is of extreme importance when evaluating missions that require varying suit pressures associated with different operations within NASA's current human spaceflight program, Constellation. This characterization fed directly into the derivation of requirements for the next EVA glove. This study captured three types of maximum hand strength: grip, lateral pinch, and pulp-2 pinch. All three strengths were measured under varying pressures and compared to a bare-hand condition. The resulting standardized data was reported as a percentage of the bare-hand strength. The first wave of tests was performed while the subjects, four female and four male, were wearing an Extravehicular Mobility Unit (EMU) suit supported by a suit stand. This portion of the test collected data from the barehand, suited unpressurized, and suited pressurized (4.3 psi) conditions. In addition, the effects of the Thermal Micrometeoroid Garment (TMG) on hand strength were examined, with the suited unpressurized and pressurized cases tested with and without a TMG. It was found that, when pressurized and with the TMG, the Phase VI glove reduced applied grip strength to a little more than half of the subject s bare-hand strength. The lateral pinch strength remained relatively constant while the pulp-2 pinch strength actually increased with pressure. The TMG was found to decrease maximum applied grip strength by an additional 10% for both pressurized and unpressurized cases, while the pinch strengths saw little to no change. In developing requirements based on human subjects, it is important to attempt to derive results that encompass the variation within the entire population. The current EMU does not accommodate humans at the extremes of the anthropometric spectrum. To account for this and to ensure that these requirements cover the population, another phase of testing will be conducted in a differential pressure glove box. This phase will focus on smaller females and very large males that do not have a properly fitted EMU suit. Instead, they would wear smaller or larger gloves and be tested in the glove box as a means to compare and contrast their strength capabilities against the EMU accommodated hand size subjects. The glove box s ability to change pressures easily will also allow for a wider range of glove pressures to be tested. Compared to the data collected on the subjects wearing the EMU suit, it is expected that there will be similar ratios to bare-hand. It is recommended that this topic be sent to the Physical Ergonomics Board for review.
Document ID
Acquisition Source
Johnson Space Center
Document Type
Conference Paper
Rajulu, Sudhakar
(NASA Johnson Space Center Houston, TX, United States)
Mesloh, Miranda
(Lockheed Martin Corp. Houston, TX, United States)
Thompson, Shelby
(Lockheed Martin Corp. Houston, TX, United States)
England, Scott
(MEI Technologies, Inc. Houston, TX, United States)
Benson, Liz
(MEI Technologies, Inc. Houston, TX, United States)
Date Acquired
August 24, 2013
Publication Date
January 1, 2009
Subject Category
Man/System Technology And Life Support
Report/Patent Number
Meeting Information
Meeting: 3rd International Conference on Applied Human Factors and Ergonomics
Location: Miami, FL
Country: United States
Start Date: July 17, 2010
End Date: July 20, 2010
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