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  • Advanced protection systems for astronaut extravehicular activity

    Paper ID



    • D.L. Richardson


    Arthur D. Little, Inc.






    The harsh environment in outer space could severely limit man’s explorations if modern space technology did not make possible the development of ingenious protective mechanisms. The bold elforts of astronauts during their extravehicular missions attest to the present state of technology for conquering this new frontier. However, there still are difficulties which must be surmounted to provide future astronauts with sufficient freedom and protection to operate effectually. The present concept of the space suit will be modified by future mission requirements and spacecraft. As spacecraft evolve into large complex space stations and as more intensive manned space exploration is carried out, the space suit will no longer be adequate for all mission requirements. Instead current space suits will be replaced by completely integrated extravehicular protection systems which are designed for maximum interaction with the particular mission and for maximum astronaut mobility. These systems include the space suit and various subsystems such as life support, thermal control, thermal insulation, and micrometeoroid protection. Conceptual designs of advanced extravehicular protection systems for activity on or near space stations and for activity on planetary surfaces are discussed.