A previous study of astronaut injuries sustained during spacewalks had found that about 47 percent of reported symptoms between and were hand related. Come back in late August through October and pick your own Apples - choose your favorite variety or mix and match. Nice people, beautiful farm.
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R J Riches Family Restaurant. RA Sushi Bar Restaurant. Regal Cinemas In Theaters Only. Richard Petty Driving Experience. Rite Aid Online Only. A disaster just waiting to happen. NASA tolerates low-pressure pure-oxygen pressurization in their soft space suits because they have no choice.
There is not a lot of research, but NASA seems to think that if an astronaut in such a suit got punctured by a micro-meteor and it caught fire, the main hazard is a fire enlarging the diameter of the breach, not an astronaut-shaped ball of flame. For what it is worth, the " Apollo Operations Handbook Extravehicular Mobility Unit ", Revision 5, Table 2-I quotes the maximum leak rate of cubic centimeters per minute at Soft suits have flexible exteriors.
This means they cannot be pressurized to the same level as the inside of the habitat module or the space suited person will be forced into a posture like a star-fish and be unable to bend any joints. Lower pressure means the suit uses pure oxygen unlike the habitat module. And pure oxygen means the astronaut has to do hours pre-breathing before wearing the suit or they will be stricken by The Bends.
Soft suits also take forever to put on, they fight your every movement making EVA work very fatiguing , and if you tear the suit skin you will die horribly in about 90 seconds. Hard-shell suits have rigid exteriors. The advantage is they can be fully pressurized so no pre-breathing is required. They are also much more tear and puncture resistant than soft suits. The drawback of hard-shell suits is that they make the "forever to put on" and "fight your every movement" problems much worse.
Semi-rigid or Hybrid suits are a cross between soft and hard-shell. Current NASA semi-rigid suits are low pressure, but they are working on a high-pressure model. Skintight suits are a radical concept that is so crazy it just might work. They make the astronaut's skin into the spacesuit, using high-tech spandex to supply pressure instead of using atmosphere. The suits are also much inexpensive than a soft or hard-shell suit.
The major draw-back is they require low pressure breathing mix or the wearer cannot exhale , so astronauts have to pre-breath or face the Bends. They have a slightly different design from space suits. DuQuesne reported briefly to the two girls. All three put on space-suits and crowded into the tiny airlock. The lock was pumped down. There was a terrific jar as the two ships of space were brought together and held together. Outer valves opened; residual air screamed out into the interstellar void.
Moisture condensed upon glass, rendering sight useless. DuQuesne grabbed the girl nearest him and shoved her toward the spot where Seaton would have to be. Partial Pressure suits only pressurize certain parts of the body for a limited time. They are only used as a precaution, worn inside the habitat module during times when there is danger of it springing a leak, such as during lift-off or if an enemy spacecraft is shooting at you.
Partial pressure suits are a trade-off: The image above from First Men to the Moon is a partial pressure suit based on an old school Air Force high-altitude suit. If the pressure drops, the pressure regulating tubes along the suit's seams inflate to put the suit under tension.
The wearer will then put on the oxygen mask attached to the small tank strapped to their leg. The crew of a combat spacecraft in battle probably will not wear a soft, hard-shell, or semi-rigid suit during battle. This is for the same reasons that the crew of a military submarine do not wear SCUBA gear in battle even though they too are in a craft surrounded by countless miles of unbreathable stuff while being shot at.
It gets in the way. Or a skintight partial- body hybrid pressure-suit. This might be so unencumbered that it could be used as everday wear. Then if the habitat module loses pressure all you'd need is an oxygen mask and earplugs to survive for a few hours. Wear it with overalls because such a suit will make you almost as naked as wearing nothing but body paint. So, space folks, a question has been asked of me regarding that old trope of having everyone fully suited up and dumping the air when your space warships go to general quarters GQ.
Now, I typically opine after scribbling some numbers that there's no point at all to the latter and very little to the former. If, on the other hand, you're fully struck by a munition moving at typical space-intercept velocities, the energies involved are such that it won't matter a damn whether the Charred and Splattered Red Paste Formerly Known As You was suited up or not. And the tiny gap in between these two scenarios is nowhere near wide enough to make it worth giving up the advantages of a shirt-sleeve environment.
On the latter point, the reasons I usually see given for dumping the air include avoiding explosive decompression about which I think there's no reason to care for the same reasons as above , that it prevents fires, and shockwaves. The second one is that if you're talking about fire caused by, well, incoming fire, then much of the time you're talking about things in the compartment-wrecking open-to-space scenario anyway, in which case the decompression will happen anyway help from you.
And the third one is that if you're only dumping the air at GQ, then you need a perfectly functional suite of fire-suppression systems for the rest of the time anyway , so let them do their job. As for shockwaves — well, again, I would expect that, given the energies involved, whatever damping or transmitting effects the air might have are going to end up lost in the rounding. High-energy penetrating strikes might include flashover problems from KE ending up in the air, but given all the other things that will kill you in high-energy penetrating strikes, those aren't going to make you any more dead.
For a list of the parameters for a NASA spec space suit, go here. The only thing that allows an astronaut to bend their limbs at all is the magic of constant volume joints. These are why most pictures of space suits look like the Michelin Man i. Dan chuckled, then sobered.
Okay, you won't get any favors. But you'll still stay here today. Look, Jim, when I first came up, there was a guy named Joe with me. The first day he spotted some cargo drifting off and leaped for it. Put out a hand to grab it—and, naturally, when his arm moved one way his body moved the other. His suit hit a sharp edge of metal. A man dies fast out here when the air runs out of his suit, and it's not a pretty thing to see. Jim practiced dutifully, gaining some proficiency as he did. He had to learn by experience that the twitch of a foot at the wrong moment could throw him off balance.
In The Millennial Project Savage suggests that the helmet will have an outer layer of five millimeters of high density lead crystal. Inside will be two layers of dense borosilicate glass sandwiched between two layers of Lexan.
The middle layer of Lexan will add strength and prevent shattering, the inner will act as a reserve helmet. The outer surface will be gold anodized to block glare, ultraviolet, and infra-red.
There may be a nested set of telescoping curved armor plates that can be deployed for further protection. NASA helmets are spherical domes, which hits the sweet spot between low mass, pressure compensation, and field of view. All current NASA suits have the astronaut's head is held facing forwards, you have to turn your entire body in order to look sideways.
Astronauts call this "alligator head". The helmet has to be comfortable to wear, and help in controlling the humidity inside the helmet so it doesn't fog up.
Another important part is the radio communication unit , since the lack of air in space prevents the sound of your voice from reaching anybody. Well, no one can hear Floyd asking somebody to pass him a socket wrench either.
Other items might include windshield wipers inside for condensation, outside for dust , a build-in set of binoculars, headlights for shadowed areas, a mirrored sun-visor to prevent sunlight from burning out your retinas, a water drink dispenser, and maybe a gadget that can supply various medications pain relievers, anti-nausea, stimulants. As previously mentioned, NASA astronaut always put on a transdermal dimenhydrinate anti-nausea patch when suiting up in a space suit, in case of drop sickness.
Heim glanced at the others. Their suits had become as familiar to him as the seldom seen faces. Jocelyn was already unconscious. And every nerve in Heim carried waves of weariness. When that was done, he stretched himself as well as his backpack allowed. Early Spaceflight Initiative helmets required more bulky hardware than modern compact systems, for example, which consumed and obscured much of the rear volume. And then, of course, there were the various RFPs from the nascent Imperial Navy, and specifically the requests from the Flight Operations representatives, who were most insistent that while they were willing if reluctant to concede the impracticability of their traditional silk scarves as a vacuum suit accessory, relegating them to the role of dress uniform only, and even to acknowledge the uselessness of their equally traditional aviator goggles, they would not under any circumstances give up their leather-and-fur flight helmets.
They had, after all, been presented upon graduation of every Pilot Officer since the first foundation of the Imperial Flying Corps. And so we come to the modern bubble helmet , a spherical dome of smartglass sandwiched between high-impact sapphiroid.
The outermost layer is gold-anodized, to block glare and harmful radiation while in theory the smartglass could provide this filtration, the gold anodization is fail-safe, functioning even if suit power or data systems are malfunctioning , and designed to intrinsically shed fluids, dust, and electrical charge.
The smartglass is capable of acting as an infinitely configurable variable-filter and information display surface, with HUD and augmented reality functions including night-vision and optical zoom. Since modern skinsuits incorporate MEMS-based respiration assistance, it is no longer necessary to use high-oxygen breathing mixes. Light nanofluid cushioning that surrounds the neck once the helmet is donned provides additional neck protection and stability.
The torc also contains the connectors for the PLSS backpack, including those which permit water, other beverages, food pastes, and pharmaceuticals to be dispensed to the wearer through a deployable pipette, or additionally in the case of pharmaceuticals, through an autoinjector into a neck vein.
Communications can be provided directly by the torc, either via the laser-port interface or via miniaturized microphones and loudspeakers built into the torc surface. Alternately, many wearers prefer the use of a simple headset worn under the helmet, which connects to the torc using local mesh radio. At a minimum, it provides breathing mix, removes carbon dioxide, and regulates the suit's pressure.
The drum holes in the PLSS water separator got clogged , and the PLSS designers had a mistaken understanding of how water acts in microgravity the designers thought it was impossible for the water to back up into the helmet. As is usually the case, the reason astronaut Parmitano is alive today is because he did not panic. He had to move to the airlock and re-enter from memory , since he could not see with 1.
The gloves are especially a problem. Back in the 's it was unclear if space suit gloves were even possible. You need to make the various protective layers thin enough to be able to fit between adjacent fingers. And with miniature constant volume cuffs at each finger joint. Some suit designers took a tip from deep sea diving suits and postulated mechanical pincers instead of gloves.
If you're headed for space, you might rethink that manicure: Astronauts with wider hands are more likely to have their fingernails fall off after working or training in space suit gloves, according to a new study.
In fact, fingernail trauma and other hand injuries—no matter your hand size—are collectively the number one nuisance for spacewalkers, said study co-author Dava Newman, a professor of aeronautics and astronautics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The trouble is that the gloves, like the entire space suit, need to simulate the pressure of Earth's atmosphere in the chilly, airless environment of space.
The rigid, balloonlike nature of gas-pressurized gloves makes fine motor control a challenge during extravehicular activities EVAs , aka spacewalks. A previous study of astronaut injuries sustained during spacewalks had found that about 47 percent of reported symptoms between and were hand related.
More than half of these hand injuries were due to fingertips and nails making contact with the hard "thimbles" inside the glove fingertips. In several cases, sustained pressure on the fingertips during EVAs caused intense pain and led to the astronauts' nails detaching from their nailbeds, a condition called fingernail delamination. While this condition doesn't prevent astronauts from getting their work done, it can become a nuisance if the loose nails gets snagged inside the glove.
Also, moisture inside the glove can lead to secondary bacterial or yeast infections in the exposed nailbeds, the study authors say. If the nail falls off completely, it will eventually grow back, although it might be deformed.
For now, the only solutions are to apply protective dressings, keep nails trimmed short—or do some extreme preventative maintenance. Many SF novels have magnetized space boots to allow the rocketeers to adhere to the hull, but magnets do not work very well on hulls composed of titanium, aluminum, or magnesium. If one does have a ferromagnetic hull, it might be best to have magnets just in the boot heels but not the toes, to facilitate walking.
The idea is that if a boot is attached to the hull, you can release it by pushing down with your toes and lifing your heel, using a natural walking motion to detach the magnetic heel. Then the boot moves forward, approaching the hull heel-first. This allows the magnet in the heel to attach. To recap, Hard-Shell Suits:. Hard-shell suits try to fix the tearing problem at the expense of making the first two problems much worse.
True, hard suits do solve the depressurization problem , but at such a cost. It was based on deep sea diving suit technology created by Phil Nuytten of Nuytco Research. The rotating joints are angled with respect to a limb, with two halves each comprising a thick wedge section and a thin section. When a limb is bent, the joint rotate so that the thin sections come together, allowing the suit limb to bend in a correspoinding fashion.
For more details, refer to The Rocket Company. Semi-rigid Suits are sort of a cross between soft suits and hard-shell suits, typically with the chest or torso hard and the limbs soft. The ideal design is to have a hard-shell torso allowing the suit to be high-pressure with zero-prebreathing required, coupled with separately pressurized soft limbs to avoid the encumbrance penalty suffered by full- body hard-shell pressure-suits.
Which is why NASA's EMU puzzles me, it is a semi-rigid suit that appears to have the disadvantages of both with the advantages of neither. No doubt there were other considerations that I am unaware of. It actually was a zero prebreathe suit. It is pressurized to 57 kPa, which is close enough to the There is a hard upper torso, a hard lower torso.
There are bearings at shoulder, upper arm, hip, waist, and ankles. There are soft fabric joints at elbow, knee, and ankle. I do not know why there are both types of joints at the ankles.
One of its main drawbacks was that the suit could not separate at the waist like other NASA suits, you had to enter the suit from the backpack. As with all hard-shell and semi-rigid suits, it is heavier than a soft suit 59 kilograms. Instead of trying to hold your body intact with air pressure, it holds it in with spandex. It sounds crazy but it just might be crazy enough to work. The original concept was created by Dr. Paul Webb in It is currently being developed by Dr. A skin-tight suit of high tech cloth exerts pressure over the rocketeer's body to provide pressure.
A bubble helmet with oxygen supply allows one to breathe. Open pores in the suit actually allow the body to be cooled by perspiration. Tears will cause bruising to the skin, but are not as lethal as they are on a conventional suit. The suit can be quickly put on. And you can store them by folding them up and putting them inside the bubble helmet. The back pack is still bulky, though. They do need some care in design, though.
Any concave areas on the body that the suit does not hug will bulge out under internal body pressure until it fills the void i. Putty or fluid filled bladders will be needed to prevent this. Care must be taken around those nether regions, the small of the back, and in certain locations of the female chest.
Male wearers will need a rather sophisticated cup to cover the genitals. Even with the cup, the suit will tend to grab male wearers uncomfortably in the crotch. And upon entering vacuum, one will have an instant attack of dire flatulence aka High-altitude flatus expulsion or HAFE. Don't be polite, let it out right away or you may damage your intestines. A more advanced design uses a strip of "shape metal alloy'. An applied voltage can toggle the metal strip between expanded and contracted.
I'm sure the neck dam will be the part of the suit that will cause designers the most headaches. I personally would be in favor of straps that go from the neck dam and loop around ones arm around the armpits, but I'm no expert. In The Millennial Project Savage suggests that light tungsten armor plates be worn over the suit to give some anti-radiation protection this would only be needed in high radiation areas, like the Van Allen belts.
A minimal version of the skintight suit can be developed for everyday wear inside a spacecraft, i. In cases of emergency air pressure loss, all you'd need is an oxygen mask and earplugs to survive for hours This was used in Jerry Pournelle's "Tinker".
The suit was worn like long johns under a coverall. The coverall is due to the fact that the suit is about as modest as wearing a coat of paint. Amusingly, the skintight suit made an appearance in a novel and anime television series called Rocket Girls. Maybe not so surprisingly, Japanese media in general is noted for its high standards of scientific accuracy. The fictitious Solomon Space Association is developing the low-mass suits since their anemic one-lung LS-5 rocket can barely lift itself off the launch pad, let alone any payload.
In a further desperate attempt to save on mass, they are reduce to using 16 year old girls as astronauts which is a predictable development for a Japanese anime. They only weigh 38 kilograms, instead of the sixty-odd kilograms of the adult male astronauts. They take up less room in the control cabin as well. There has even been some serious discussion given to suits more like those worn by the girls on the covers of magazines.
We cannot really wear nothing but bathing suits in space, even with a bubble on our heads to supply oxygen to our lungs. Pressure from the oxygen on the inside of the lungs must be balanced by pressure outside to make breathing possible for any length of time. For a very short period, the bathing-suit affair might be enough — or even a normal suit of clothes, with an oxygen helmet. This type, though, would be used only as an emergency affair, and might prove very painful in even a few minutes, if not fatal.
Still, it appears that a suit could be designed which would not require that most of it be inflated at all. The development of the simpler spacesuit almost certainly is not something that will be accomplished on the first trips into space.
That type of suit might never work, but it is worth thinking about. Suppose we keep the plastic helmet and air supply. Let the section around the lungs be the usual inflated tube, puffed out just a trifle beyond the skin, so that air pressure surrounds the lungs.
We are still dealing with only 3 pounds pressure of oxygen. Now taper the inflated tube down at the shoulders and waist and change to an elastic fabric that will be skintight over legs, arms and hips. This fabric can be woven or formed so that it will have almost exactly 3 pounds pressure against the skin for every square inch.
Yet when we move, there is no change of air pressure at the joints, because the fabric fits against our skin snugly. We can still cover the material with reflective paint and weave tiny heating wires through it to take care of the temperature. We can even make it just a bit porous, so that perspiration can work through and evaporate into space — as it will do at once. Our bodies naturally cool themselves and maintain an even temperature by controlling the amount of perspiration.
The same thing might happen while wearing our spacesuit. If the body became too warm, we would perspire more, and so increase the cooling. Or if we grew too cold, the perspiration would lessen, reducing the cooling. By using some kind of porous underclothing, the perspiration from even the sections inside the pressurized and inflated part of the suit might reach the cooling sections.
There would be some loss of oxygen this way, but it could be kept to a level that would not matter for short periods of time. Perhaps even the part of the suit over the lungs could be devised of similar elastic material, so that there would be oxygen only in the helmet. In that case, instead of huge, bulky suits, we might have something that looked like the tights male ballet dancers wear.
The pressure suit went on like a diver's wet suit, and looked like one only not so thick. It fit very closely; he had to use talcum power to get into it. Gloves dogged onto the ends of the sleeves, and a seal set firmly around his neck. He slipped into the boots, hung the small equipment bag over his shoulder, and reported back to the technicians.
They pulled and pinched, looking for loose spots. They didn't find any in Kevin's, but the next to come up was the girl he'd seen before, and after a moment they handed her a lump of what looked like clay. Don't leave any gaps. Your skin won't hold that. The suit will, but you've got to be flat against the suit, otherwise you'll swell up to fit any empty spaces. It won't do a lot of good for your figure.
That fabric may contain pores, but it also contains MEMS , computer mesh, wound gel vacuoles… a lot of media justifies them with, and have been in said use right from the earliest days when the Spaceflight Initiative conducted its feasibility studies for Project Phoenix.
They actually look pretty similar to the prototype of such a spacesuit that Dr. Further information on this general type of spacesuit is, of course, available at Atomic Rocket. She worked with NASA officials and engineers, whom she described as "bend-over-backwards helpful. Aesthetics were also an issue; Scott didn't find the Z-2 spacesuit visually striking enough, Yates said. Yates worked with concept artists to draw up a variety of basic designs for the suit worn by Watney and his crewmates on the Martian surface, then presented them to Scott for approval.
The body-hugging, black-white-and-orange suit showcased in the film emerged by process of elimination. Interestingly, the movie's suit superficially resembles the Biosuit, a real space garment being developed by researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
So, while NASA didn't come up with the surface suit featured in "The Martian," agency officials did approve the astronaut apparel. These are science fictional ultra-high-tech space suits powered by handwavium.
The accuracy of space suits in science fiction was very much hit or miss. The low budget show Space Academy had " Life Support Bracelets " and the Star Trek Animated series had force-field based " Life Support Belts " as a cheapskate way to avoid the special effect expense of renting or drawing an actual space suit. Feeling as naked as a peppermint soldier in her transparent film wrap, Dr. Despite the virus space-bubble's warranted and eerie efficiency, she found its vigilance—itself probably as nearly alive as the flying cloak was—rather difficult to believe in, let alone to trust.
The machine—as Ulla much preferred to think of it—was inarguably an improvement on the old-fashioned pressure suit. Made or more accurately, cultured of a single colossal protein molecule, the vanishingly thin sheet of life-stuff processed gases, maintained pressure, monitored radiation through almost the whole of the electromagnetic spectrum, and above all did not get in the way.
Also, it could not be cut, punctured or indeed sustain any damage short of total destruction; macroscopically it was a single, primary unit, with all the physical integrity of a crystal of salt or steel. If it did not actually think, Ulla was grateful; often it almost seemed to, which was sufficient. Its primary drawback for her was that much of the time it did not really seem to be there.
Still, it seemed to be functioning; otherwise Ulla would in fact have been as solid as a stick of candy, toppled forever across the confectionery whiteness that frosted the knife-edged stones of this cruel moon, layer upon layer.
Outside—only a perilous few inches from the lightly clothed warmth of her skin—the brief gust the cloak had been soaring on died, leaving behind a silence so cataleptic that she could hear the snow creaking in a mockery of motion. Impossible though it was to comprehend, it was getting still colder out there.
Titan was swinging out across Saturn's orbit toward eclipse, and the apparently fixed sun was secretly going down, its descent sensed by the snows no matter what her Earthly sight, accustomed to the nervousness of living skies, tried to tell her. In another two Earth days it would be gone, for an eternal week. She felt her way across the command module in absolute darkness, guided by the technological intuition her Ghost implants granted her, pulling herself along solely by her hands, while her feet floated out behind her.
The bulkheads and surfaces were all covered with smooth velvet and fur that was easy to grip. Cushions, meal containers and pieces of discarded clothing whirled in eddies created by her passage, colliding with her suddenly and unavoidably in the darkness. The only sound Dakota could hear was her own panicked breathing, matched by the adrenaline thud of her heart. Convinced the life support was about to collapse, she activated her filmsuit.
It spilled out of her skin from dozens of artificial pores, a flood of black ink that cocooned and protected her inside her own liquid spacesuit, growing transparent over her eyes so as to display the darkened space around her in infrared. Instrument panels glowed eerily with residual heat, and she saw hotspots where her naked flesh had touched heat-retaining surfaces, making it easier for her mind to wander into fantasies of being trapped on a deserted, haunted ship.
It coated her naked flesh just like a thick layer of dark chocolate, protecting her from the vacuum and radiation just millimetres from her skin. It smoothed out her features, making her appear, to any potential observer, like an animated doll. She was, in effect, a one-woman spaceship, though there was a clear limit to just how long the suit would keep functioning before the batteries needed recharging.
Dakota activated her filmsuit and, under her clothes, it coated her bare flesh within moments. Her lungs shut down automatically and, as always, it took her a moment to get over the sensation that she was suffocating. Dakota entered an airlock and shed all her clothes, placing them in a satchel before slinging it over her bare shoulders. Her filmsuit then emerged and coated her flesh.
Once it had sealed her lungs, anus, vagina and nasal cavities, she began to run the depressurization cycle. Protective molecular filters formed themselves out of the filmsuit and coalesced over her irises, momentarily magnifying the distant bright mass of faraway Mesa Verde until surface details stood out in near-hallucinatory detail before they balanced out. The stars looked like a fine dusting of diamonds across the universe. You know, of course, except the hindbrain, which never likes it at all.
So I was plagued by a feeling of suffocation, which was my medulla getting even with me, I guess. I was also pretty nervous about the temperature and pressure. Mars would kill me just as dead without a suit, and do it more slowly and painfully into the bargain. Or so Ember told me. She might have been trying to get my goat. The Venusians use null fields for just about everything. Rather than try to cope with a technology that must stand up to the temperature and pressure extremes, they coat everything in a null field and let it go at that.
The balloon on the cycle sort of a bicycle pedal-powered dirgible was nothing but a standard globular field with a discontinuity at the bottom for the air heater. The cycle body was protected with the same kind of field that Ember and I wore, the kind that follows the surface at a set distance. The tent was a hemispherical field with a flat floor. It simplified a lot of things. What we did was to simply walk into the tent.
Our suit fields vanished as they were absorbed into the tent field. To leave one need merely walk through the wall again, and the suit would form around you. Sometime that day we passed a tributary of the Reynolds-wrap River.
It showed up as a bright line in my right eye, as a crusted, sluggish semiglacier in my left. Molten aluminum, I was told. And down we went. Ember set the example by sitting down in a smooth place and letting go.
Malibu was close behind her, squealing happily as he bounced and rolled down the slippery rock face. I saw Ember hit a bump and go flying in the air to come down on her head. Her suit was already stiffened. She continued to bounce her way down, frozen in a sitting position. I followed them down in the same way. I didn't much care for the idea of bouncing around like that, but I cared even less for a slow, painful descent.
You don't feel much after your suit freezes in impact mode. It expands slightly away from your skin and becomes harder than metal, cushioning you from anything but the most severe blows that could bounce your brain against your skull and give you internal injuries.
We never got going nearly fast enough for that. I had a radio transmitter in my throat and a receiver in my ear. I had an awful time getting into it — dressing in an upper berth is a cinch by comparison. The photographer said, "Just a minute, kid. I've seen 'em do it at Wright Field. It was fairly easy that way, opening front gaskets wide and sitting down in it, though I almost dislocated a shoulder.
There were straps to adjust for size but we didn't bother; he stuffed me into it, zippered the gaskets, helped me to my feet and shut the helmet. But I didn't get tired of it; a space suit is a marvelous piece of machinery — a little space station with everything miniaturized. Mine was a chrome-plated helmet and shoulder yoke which merged into a body of silicone, asbestos, and glass-fibre cloth.
This hide was stiff except at the joints. They were the same rugged material but were "constant volume" — when you bent a knee a bellows arrangement increased the volume over the knee cap as much as the space back of the knee was squeezed. Without this a man wouldn't be able to move; the pressure inside, which can add up to several tons, would hold him rigid as a statue.
These volume compensators were covered with dural armor; even the finger joints had little dural plates over the knuckles. It had a heavy glass-fibre belt with clips for tools, and there were the straps to adjust for height and weight.
There was a back pack, now empty, for air bottles, and zippered pockets inside and out, for batteries and such. The helmet swung back, taking a bib out of the yoke with it, and the front opened with two gasketed zippers; this left a door you could wiggle into. With helmet clamped and zippers closed it was impossible to open the suit with pressure inside. Switches were mounted on the shoulder yoke and on the helmet; the helmet was monstrous.
It contained a drinking tank, pill dispensers six on each side, a chin plate on the right to switch radio from "receive" to "send," another on the left to increase or decrease flow of air, an automatic polarizer for the face lens, microphone and earphones, space for radio circuits in a bulge back of the head, and an instrument board arched over the head.
The instrument dials read backwards because they were reflected in an inside mirror in front of the wearer's forehead at an effective fourteen inches from the eyes. Above the lens or window there were twin headlights. On top were two antennas, a spike for broadcast and a horn that squirted microwaves like a gun-you aimed it by facing the receiving station. The horn antenna was armored except for its open end. This sounds as crowded as a lady's purse but everything was beautifully compact; your head didn't touch anything when you looked out the lens.
But you could tip your head back and see reflected instruments, or tilt it down and turn it to work chin controls, or simply turn your neck for water nipple or pills. In all remaining space sponge-rubber padding kept you from banging your head no matter what.
My suit was like a fine car, its helmet like a Swiss watch. But its air bottles were missing; so was radio gear except for built-in antennas; radar beacon and emergency radar target were gone, pockets inside and out were empty, and there were no tools on the belt. The manual told what it ought to have — it was like a stripped car.
Carry steel bottles on your back; they hold "air" oxygen and helium at a hundred and fifty atmospheres, over pounds per square inch; you draw from them through a reduction valve down to p. Put a silicone-rubber collar around your neck and put tiny holes in it, so that the pressure in the body of your suit is less, the air movement still faster; then evaporation and cooling will be increased while the effort of bending is decreased.
Add exhaust valves, one at each wrist and ankle — these have to pass water as well as gas because you may be ankle deep in sweat. The bottles are big and clumsy, weighing around sixty pounds apiece, and each holds only about five mass pounds of air even at that enormous pressure; instead of a month's supply you will have only a few hours — my suit was rated at eight hours for the bottles it used to have.
To make darn sure that you're getting enough your nose can't tell you clip a little photoelectric cell to your ear and let it see the color of your blood; the redness of the blood measures the oxygen it carries. Hook this to a galvanometer. If its needle gets into the danger zone, start saying your prayers.
Air sighed softly into the helmet, its flow through the demand valve regulated by the rise and fall of my chest — I could reset it to speed up or slow down by the chin control. I didn't bother with a radar target or beacon; the first is childishly simple, the second is fiendishly expensive. But I did want radio for the space-operations band of the spectrum — the antennas suited only those wavelengths. The only thing that complicated the rest of the electrical gear was that everything had to be either "fail-safe" or "no-fail"; a man in a space suit can't pull into the next garage if something goes wrong — the stuff has to keep on working or he becomes a vital statistic.
That was why the helmet had twin headlights; the second cut in if the first failed — even the peanut lights for the dials over my head were twins. I didn't take short cuts; every duplicate circuit I kept duplicate and tested to make sure that automatic changeover always worked.
Charton insisted on filling the manual's list on those items a drugstore stocks — maltose and dextrose and amino tablets, vitamins, dexedrine yikes, back in the drugstore would give an 18 year old boy amphetamines , dramamine , aspirin, antibiotics, antihistamines, codeine , almost any pill a man can take to help him past a hump that might kill him.
I made it a dress rehearsal — water in the drinking tank, pill dispensers loaded, first-aid kit inside, vacuum-proof duplicate I hoped it was vacuum-proof in an outside pocket. All tools on belt, all lanyards tied so that tools wouldn't float away in free fall.
You're swelling up too fast. But she had used a space suit before, while I had merely pretended to. It also has a nitrogen trim tank and a carbon dioxide water-vapor cartridge filter.
He droned on, repeating practically verbatim the description and instructions given in training regulations. McCoy knew these suits like his tongue knew the roof of his mouth; the knowledge had meant his life on more than one occasion.
The resulting fabric is flexible, very durable; and will turn all rays normal to solar space outside the orbit of Mercury. It is worn over your regular clothing, but notice the wire-braced accordion pleats at the major joints.
They are so designed as to keep the internal volume of the suit nearly constant when the arms or legs are bent. Otherwise the gas pressure inside would tend to keep the suit blown up in an erect position and movement while wearing the suit would be very fatiguing. It may be equipped with external visors of any needed type. Orders are to wear not less than a number-two amber on this body.
In addition, a lead plate covers the cranium and extends on down the back of the suit, completely covering the spinal column. If your radio quits, as these have a habit of doing, you can talk by putting your helmets in contact. You can carry sugar balls in a gadget in the helmet, but you boys will always eat at the base. As for water, there's a nipple in the helmet near your mouth which you can reach by turning your head to the left.
It's hooked to a built-in canteen. But don't drink any more water when you're wearing a suit than you have to. These suits ain't got any plumbing. Suits were passed out to each lad, and McCoy illustrated how to don one.
A suit was spread supine on the deck, the front zipper that stretched from neck to crotch was spread wide and one sat down inside this opening, whereupon the lower part was drawn on like long stockings. Then a wiggle into each sleeve and the heavy flexible gauntlets were smoothed and patted into place.
Finally an awkward backward stretch of the neck with shoulders hunched enabled the helmet to be placed over the head. Libby followed the motions of McCoy and stood up in his suit. He examined the zipper which controlled the suit's only opening.
It was backed by two soft gaskets which would be pressed together by the zipper and sealed by internal air pressure. Inside the helmet a composition mouthpiece for exhalation led to the filter.
We didn't want you to get used to using the thing in a friendly environment. The fighting suit is the deadliest personal weapon ever built, and with no weapon is it easier for the user to kill himself through carelessness. As you know, the suit tries to keep you at a comfortable temperature no matter what the weather's like outside.
The material of the suit is as near to a perfect insulator as we could get, consistent with mechanical demands. Therefore, these fins get hot especially hot, compared to darkside temperatures—as they bleed off the body's heat. The gas will sublime off faster than it can escape from the fins; in escaping, it will push against the surrounding ice, and fracture it … and in about one-hundredth of a second, you have the equivalent of a hand grenade going off right below your neck.
You'll never feel a thing. And they were just building a bunch of huts. I'm going out to that blue slab of ice"—it was a big one, about twenty meters away—"and show you something that you'd better know if you want to stay alive. He walked out in a dozen confident steps.
The captain pointed his finger at a black rock the size of a basketball, and gave it a short burst. The glare rolled a long shadow of the captain over us and beyond. The rock shattered into a pile of hazy splinters. It skittered around in a crazy pattern and shot off the side.
He tossed another one, and it did the same. These rocks are about the temperature of the soles of your boots. If you try to stand on a slab of hydrogen, the same thing will happen to you. Except that the rock is already dead. This makes the rock or you a frictionless bearing as far as the ice is concerned, and you can't stand up without any friction under your boots. The captain flexed and hopped up onto the slab. His feet shot out from under him and he twisted around in midair, landing on hands and knees.
He slipped off and stood on the ground. Compared to the ice they are as hot as a blast furnace, and contact with any weight behind it will result in an explosion. Besides the usual cargo lock we had three Kwikloks. A Kwiklok is an Iron Maiden without spikes; it fits a man in a suit, leaving just a few pints of air to scavenge, and cycles automatically.
A big time saver in changing shifts. I passed through the middle-sized one; Tiny, of course, used the big one. Without hesitation the new man pulled himself into the small one. Current NASA space suits take about 45 minutes to put on, though that does include the time it takes to don the water-cooled undergarments.
The backpack PLSS swung open like a door allowing the astronaut to step inside it still take a while to put on the water cooled long-johns. In the Russian space program realized that the rear entry door space suit could be used as a low mass airlock. Instead of a huge room with two air-tight doors, all you need is a hole in the hull the size of the PLSS with an airtight inner hatch cover.
This is called a " Suitport ". The suit is outside of the spacecraft or whatever, only the PLSS is inside. The cosmonaut slips into the suit, a helper shuts the PLSS door and covers it with the airtight inner hatch cover. The cosmonaut is outside of the habitat module and can conduct EVA activities. As an additional advantage, this system avoids enviromental contamination.
Astronauts will not track into the lunar base any lung-destroying lunar dust. By the same token, Terran bacteria will not be allowed to get on the surface of a Mars planetary suit, and thereby contaminate the Martian environment. The only part of the suit that can do any contamination is the PLSS, the rest of the suit never enters the hab module. There is still the problem of the pressure difference habitat module and the space suit.
But a pre-breathing room is a lot less of a mass penalty than a full airlock. A suitport or suitlock is an alternative technology to an airlock , designed for use in hazardous environments and in human spaceflight , especially planetary surface exploration.
Suitports present advantages over traditional airlocks in terms of mass, volume, and ability to mitigate contamination by—and of—the local environment. In a suitport system, a rear-entry space suit is attached and sealed against the outside of a spacecraft , space habitat , or pressurized rover , facing outward. To begin an extra-vehicular activity EVA , an astronaut in shirt-sleeves first enters the suit feet-first from inside the pressurized environment, and closes and seals the space suit backpack and the vehicle's hatch which seals to the backpack for dust containment.
The astronaut then unseals and separates the suit from the vehicle, and is ready to perform an EVA. To re-enter the vehicle, the astronaut backs up to the suitport and seals the suit to the vehicle, before opening the hatch and backpack and transferring back into the vehicle.
If the vehicle and suit do not operate at the same pressure , it will be necessary to equalize the two pressures before the hatch can be opened. Suitports carry three major advantages over traditional airlocks.
First, the mass and volume required for a suitport is significantly less than that required for an airlock. Secondly, suitports can eliminate or minimize the problem of dust migration.
During the Apollo program , it was discovered that the lunar soil is electrically charged , and adheres readily to any surface with which it comes into contact, a problem magnified by the sharp, barb-like shapes of the dust particles. Lunar dust may be harmful in several ways:. During the Apollo missions, the astronauts donned their space suits inside the Apollo Lunar Module cabin, which was then depressurized to allow them to exit the vehicle.
Upon the end of EVA, the astronauts would re-enter the cabin in their suits, bringing with them a great deal of dust which had adhered to the suits. When the suit is attached to the vehicle, any dust which may have adhered to the backpack of the suit is sealed between the outside of the backpack and the vehicle-side hatch. Any dust on the suit that is not on the backpack remains sealed outside the vehicle. Likewise, the suitport prevents contamination of the external environment by microbes carried by the astronaut.
Additionally, the suitports significantly reduce the ingress and egress time, and virtually remove the need of pumpdown of the airlock, which normally is either associated with air loss, or requires heavy and complex pumping machinery as the only space that needs to be pressurized is the area between the vehicle hatch and the life-support backpack, and even that only in case of need for repairs, decontamination and refitting of the suit. Disadvantages of suitports include the additional mass of the interface on the rear of the space suit which may be more than 4.
The suitport concept was suggested for use in the Soviet manned Moon program. A US patent for a suitport was first filed in by Marc M. Further patents were filed in by Philip Culbertson Jr. As of , suitports have found a practical, terrestrial application as part of a NASA Ames hazardous materials vehicle, where the use of the suitport eliminates the need to decontaminate the hazmat suit before doffing.
Suitports may find use as part of future NASA projects aimed at achieving a return to the Moon and manned exploration of Mars. Early unmanned tests of the suitport were conducted in June The first manned tests of the suitport occurred on 16 and 18 July ; during these manned tests the spacesuit was kept at a pressure of Suitports may eventually be tested on the International Space Station.
First Jamieson, then Wheeler, chanted the alphabetic mnemonic - "A is for air-lines, B is for batteries, C is for couplings, D is for D.
It's been in every show in the country for the last year, but I didn't know you had to go through it every time you went out-of-doors! Valves, number one all x, two all x, three all x That check-up is no joke, guy Steve is using "guy" sarcastically, Nadia is quite female. These suits are complicated affairs, and some parts are apt to get out of order.
You see, a thing to give you fresh air at normal pressure and to keep you warm in absolute space can't be either simple or foolproof. They've worked on them for years, but they're pretty crude yet. They're tricky, and if one goes sour on you out in space it's just too bad — you're lucky to get back alive.
A lot of men are out there somewhere yet because of sloppy check-ups. The instructor ordered his group to "Suit upl" without preliminary, as it was assumed that they had studied the instruction spool. The last of the ship's spin had been removed some days before. Matt curled himself into a ball, floating free, and spread open the front of his suit.
It was an unhandy process; he found shortly that he was trying to get both legs down one leg of the suit. He backed out and tried again. This time the big fishbowl flopped forward into the opening. Most of the section were already in their suits. The instructor swam over to Matt and looked at him sharply. You handle yourself like a turtle on its back.
The instructor ran through the check-off list — tank pressure, suit pressure, rocket fuel charge, suit oxygen, blood oxygen measured by a photoelectric gadget clipped to the earlobe and finally each suit's walky-talky unit. Then he herded them into the airlock. In spite of the fail-safe design of the P-suits— so loss of pressure in one part of the suit won't result in a total loss of suit pressure—we lost a rigger yesterday for a stupid reason.
Riggers working in P-suits are required to use the Buddy System—checking each other's gear before cycling to vacuum. But this crew was in a hurry to get on the job.
So the buddy didn't check both of the helmet pressurizing lines where the fittings go into the helmet. From what Pratt determined by studying the P-suit later, neither line was inserted in the fitting past the detent. I've got to admit, it's difficult to tell when you've twisted the fitting past the detent, especially if you're already wearing P-suit gloves. Out in vacuum, the guy snagged one of the lines and pulled it out of the helmet fitting. The check valve closed when the line left the fitting, just as it's supposed to do.
But when he heard the line come out of the fitting, he turned, caught the other line on the same beam element, and pulled the second line far enough out of the fitting so it blew most of his back-pack oxygen supply out into space.
He lost helmet pressure in a few seconds. By the time his buddy got to him, he died from what Fred termed "traumatic abaryia," or rapid and terminal loss of pressurization. Another case was perhaps worse from our point of view because, although the man was alive when we got him, he was too far gone to save.
Writers often talk about the "primordial cold of outer space. P-suit backpacks are designed to get rid of the metabolic heat generated by the individual, plus the environmental heat load from outside.
There's a limit to the backpack's capability. Everybody's trained to recognize the symptoms of potential overload—a rise in P-suit temperature, hyperventilation, headache, et cetera. When it starts to happen, you slow down, rest, relax— or you're dead very quickly.
This poor guy never had a chance, and it was a genuine industrial accident thai finished him. While a photovoltaic power module's brought up from LEO Base, where it's assembled, it converts sunlight to electricity, which is used to power the electric thrusters which propel it to GEO Base.
The structure isn't metal; it's a carbon-reinforced composite plastic. The riggers had docked the new module to the main array, and Lucky's crew moved in to make the electrical switchover.
Supposedly, it's impossible to create an electric arc in a vacuum, but GEO Base is surrounded by a halo of escaped life-support-system gases, outgas-sing products from materials, and other things that make the vacuum less than perfect.
This is a construction site, and I've never seen a clean construction site anywhere. During one of the switchover sequences, part of an insulator failed and an arc jumped across the rest of the insulator to the structure.
It vaporized the carbon-composite plastic, which in turn vapor-deposited on everything within fifty feet, including the P-suit of the man who was nearby. It blackened his P-suit within a fraction of a second. He was in full sunlight at the time. Within ten seconds his suit and backpack were too hot for the backpack system to handle.
He practically fried in less than thirty seconds. One of the P-suited individuals was obviously unconscious. Tom surmised this from the limp, rag-doll posture and random small movements of the limbs of the P-suit. He looked at the faceplate and discovered that the inside surface was covered with a brownish-black deposit, The injured man was no longer being supported by his own backpack. It had been disconnected, and he had been buddy-coupled to another individual's pack. It didn't take more than thirty seconds to repressurize the Pumpkin ambulance.
Then Tom opened the faceplate of the injured man's P-suit helmet. The man had had a beard that had been singed off. There were first- and second-degree burns on his face. The most severe burns were in the vicinity of the oxygen inlet couplings from the backpack to the helmet. Tom had no way of knowing the nature or extent of possible burns in the lungs or airways.
It didn't take long to determine the source of the fire. Each backpack contains two high-pressure-oxygen storage bottles.
A pressure switch valves a full bottle into the system when it senses the on-line bottle's pressure has dropped below a preset limit. The high-pressure oxygen then flows through a regulator that drops the pressure to about five psi absolute.
The plastic O-ring that seals the upstream side of the regulator may have had a trace of contamination on it; the culprit seems to be aluminum shaved off the fitting when a maintenance tech over-tightened it. When the pressure sensor switched tanks, a shock wave of high-pressure oxygen hit the upstream side of the regulator fitting and was heated by shock compression. This action ignited whatever was on the O-ring.
The aluminum of the regulator body then began to burn in the hot, oxygen-rich atmosphere, and, in turn, sent an oxygen-rich flame right down the breathing pressure lines to the interior of Hobart's helmet. A fifty-cent O-ring and an uncalibrated torque wrench killed a man.
It could also call a halt to a multibillion-dollar project. Pratt says it's a simple fix. He's got his maintenance techs replacing O-rings and installing a diffuser upstream of the regulator as each backpack comes in from vacuum for refurbishment at the end of each shift.
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