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  • Apollo life-support and protective systems

    Paper ID



    • M. A. Faget
    • R. E. Smylie


    NASA Manned Spacecraft Center






    To perform lunar-surface exploration, significant improvements were necessary to extravehicular life-support equipment in the area of thermal control and mobility. Gemini extravehicular activity (EVA) experience showed that a gas-cooled system for removing the metabolic heat was insufficient for the workloads encountered. The requirement to perform useful work on the lunar surface meant that a significant improvement in mobility was necessary, especially for walking and for using the arms and hands. Therefore, the development of the Apollo equipment was directed specifically toward improvements in the areas of thermal control and mobility. However, in pursuing these objectives, it was necessary to meet design requirements imposed by other uses of the equipment and to meet constraints imposed by spacecraft interfaces. For instance, the space suit serves as emergency pressure protection in case of loss of cabin pressurization and was designed to be worn in the command module at launch and entry or at anytime in the mission that it might be required. The extravehicular life-support system, in addition to its use on the lunar surface, is required to support a contingency extravehicular transfer from the lunar module to the command module in case the transfer cannot be made through the tunnel.