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Flexible Packaging Concept for a Space Suit Portable Life Support Subsystem

By Felipe Zapata, Gretchen Thomas, Paul Dillon and Joe Oliver


Neither the Shuttle Extravehicular Mobility Unit (EMU), the space suit currently used for space shuttle and International Space Station (ISS) missions, nor the Apollo EMU, the space suit successfully used on previous lunar missions, will satisfy the requirements for the next generation Constellation Program (CxP) lunar suit. The CxP system or Constellation Space Suit Element (CSSE) must be able to tolerate more severe environmental and use conditions than any previous system. These conditions include missions to the severely cold lunar poles and up to 100 Extravehicular Activity (EVA) excursions without ground maintenance. Much effort is focused on decreasing the mass and volume of the Portable Life Support Subsystem (PLSS) over previous suit designs in order to accommodate the required increase in functionality. This paper documents the progress of a conceptual packaging effort of a flexible backpack for the CSSE PLSS. The flexible backpack concept relies on a foam protection system to absorb, distribute, and dissipate the energy from falls on the lunar surface. Testing and analysis of the foam protection system concept that was conducted during this effort indicates that this method of system packaging is a viable solution

Topics: Man/System Technology and Life Support
Year: 2009
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