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International Space Station Crew Restraint DesignWith permanent human presence onboard the International Space Station (ISS), crews will be living and working in microgravity, dealing with the challenges of a weightless environment. In addition, the confined nature of the spacecraft environment results in ergonomic challenges such as limited visibility and access to the activity areas, as well as prolonged periods of unnatural postures. Without optimum restraints, crewmembers may be handicapped for performing some of the on-orbit tasks. Currently, many of the tasks on ISS are performed with the crew restrained merely by hooking their arms or toes around handrails to steady themselves. This is adequate for some tasks, but not all. There have been some reports of discomfort/calluses on the top of the toes. In addition, this type of restraint is simply insufficient for tasks that require a large degree of stability. Glovebox design is a good example of a confined workstation concept requiring stability for successful use. They are widely used in industry, university, and government laboratories, as well as in the space environment, and are known to cause postural limitations and visual restrictions. Although there are numerous guidelines pertaining to ventilation, seals, and glove attachment, most of the data have been gathered in a 1-g environment, or are from studies that were conducted prior to the early 1980 s. Little is known about how best to restrain a crewmember using a glovebox in microgravity. In 2004, The Usability Testing and Analysis Facility (UTAF) at the NASA Johnson Space Center completed development/evaluation of several design concepts for crew restraints to meet the various needs outlined above. Restraints were designed for general purpose use, for teleoperation (Robonaut) and for use with the Life Sciences Glovebox. All design efforts followed a human factors engineering design lifecycle, beginning with identification of requirements followed by an iterative prototype/test cycle. Anthropometric modeling was completed for the 5th percentile Asian female and the 95th percentile American male for all restraints. A series of three evaluations was performed onboard NASA's reduced gravity aircraft (KC-135). For all evaluations, participants performed representative tasks while being videotaped, and then completed a questionnaire following each flight day. The questionnaire included ratings scales and free format questions to assess topics such as comfort, stability provided, flexibility provided, etc. Results from the three flight evaluations are being used to develop the human factors design requirements for crew restraint concepts for 1) general purpose restraints, 2) teleoperation restraints and 3) glovebox restraints. The poster presentation will describe the detailed methodology used, results from each of the three evaluations, and the resulting human factors recommendations for the design of these restraints.
Document ID
Document Type
Conference Paper
Whitmore, M.
(NASA Johnson Space Center Houston, TX, United States)
Norris, L.
(Lockheed Martin Corp. Houston, TX, United States)
Holden, K.
(Lockheed Martin Corp. Houston, TX, United States)
Date Acquired
August 24, 2013
Publication Date
January 10, 2005
Subject Category
Life Sciences (General)
Meeting Information
Meeting: Bioastronautics Investigators'' Workshop
Location: Galveston, TX
Country: United States
Start Date: January 10, 2005
End Date: January 12, 2005
Funding Number(s)
Distribution Limits
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.

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