This paper summarizes investigations conducted on different orthostatic intolerance protection garments. This paper emphasizes on the engineering and operational aspects of the project. The current Shuttle pneumatic Anti-G Suit or AGS at 25 mmHg (0.5 psi) and customized medical mechanical compressive garments (20-30 mmHg) were tested on human subjects. The test process is presented. The preliminary results conclude that mechanical compressive garments can ameliorate orthostatic hypotension in hypovolemic subjects. A mechanical compressive garment is light, small and works without external pressure gas source; however the current garment design does not provide an adjustment to compensate for the loss of mass and size in the lower torso during long term space missions. It is also difficult to don. Compression garments that do not include an abdominal component are less effective countermeasures than garments which do. An early investigation conducted by the Human Adaptation and Countermeasures Division at Johnson Space Center (JSC) has shown there is no significant difference between the protection function of the AGS (at 77 mmHg or 1.5 psi) and the Russian anti-g suit, Kentavr (at 25 mmHg or 0.5 psi). Although both garments successfully countered hypovolemia-induced orthostatic intolerance, the Kentavr provided protection by using lower levels of compression pressure. This more recent study with a lower AGS pressure shows that pressures at 20-30 mmHg is acceptable but protection function is not as effective as higher pressure. In addition, a questionnaire survey with flight crewmembers who used both AGS and Kentavr during different missions was also performed
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