Author Topic: Space Station Spacesuits Suffer After Shuttle Shutdown  (Read 4206 times)

Offline Targeteer

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http://www.spacepolicyonline.com/news/space-station-spacesuits-suffer-after-shuttle-shutdown#.WQEnpe32gYs.facebook

NASA's Office of Inspector General (OIG) released a report today assessing NASA's management of its existing spacesuits and development of new models.  It expressed concern about Extravehicular Mobility Unit (EMU) spacesuits used on the International Space Station (ISS) for extravehicular activity (EVAs, or spacewalks, which cannot be returned to Earth easily for maintenance following termination of the space shuttle program.  As for new spacesuits, NASA Headquarters was criticized for continuing one contract for 5 years after Johnson Space Center recommended its termination.  Overall, the OIG is concerned whether NASA will have the spacesuits it needs in the next decade.
« Last Edit: 04/27/2017 10:49 AM by Chris Bergin »
Best quote heard during an inspection, "I was unaware that I was the only one who was aware."

Offline Norm38

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Re: Space Station Spacesuits Suffer After Shuttle Shutdown
« Reply #1 on: 04/28/2017 02:48 AM »
What fundamentally limits a Dragon from transporting suits as shuttle did.  It's not docking port diameter.  Does ISS need a dedicated suit flight?

Offline Sesquipedalian

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Re: Space Station Spacesuits Suffer After Shuttle Shutdown
« Reply #2 on: 04/28/2017 06:47 AM »
They missed a golden opportunity to replace "after" with "since" in that article title.

Offline woods170

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Offline Hog

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Re: Space Station Spacesuits Suffer After Shuttle Shutdown
« Reply #4 on: 04/29/2017 08:40 AM »
More and more issues as the years have gone by.   I cant imagine having to go "outside" in these suits, imagine having to do so in 2024?  Yikes.

Of the 11 remaining complete and functional spacesuits, 4 are kept on the ISS and the remaining 7 are on Earth in various stages of refurbishment and maintenance. According to Agency officials, procuring additional EMUs is not a viable option given the prohibitively high cost of the PLSS.( some estimates are as high as $250 million per unit as the technology is so dated).
Paul

Offline eric z

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Re: Space Station Spacesuits Suffer After Shuttle Shutdown
« Reply #5 on: 04/29/2017 09:48 AM »
 Shouldn't ISS be in the process by now of testing in actual outer space various types of suits, for real-life testing and operational purposes? Shouldn't we have an international-suit that works easily out of different airlocks by now? Try out different methodologies? There hasn't been a joint Russian-American EVA since the 2-man crews, right? Do international partners ever go out in Russian suits? Don't think so... The mid-era shuttle flights had a lot of EVA work getting techniques down for the future- where is that work being done now for the next-great era of spaceflight? It just seems to me this whole area is in need of a upgrade! I see on other threads lots of behind-the-scenes work being done on suit designs- let's get 'em up there tested.
 I love ISS, but to spend 100 billion and then get cute spending a few more for new suits, basic escape capsules, better living quarters, bathrooms!, research centrifuges, etc. was simply penny-wise and pound-foolish.  :'(
 
« Last Edit: 04/29/2017 09:58 AM by eric z »

Offline Nicolas PILLET

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Re: Space Station Spacesuits Suffer After Shuttle Shutdown
« Reply #6 on: 04/29/2017 04:56 PM »
Shouldn't we have an international-suit that works easily out of different airlocks by now?

Orlan spacesuits can be used from Quest, that's why his name is "Joint Airlock". But it has never been done.

Do international partners ever go out in Russian suits? Don't think so...

No, I confirm they didn't.
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Offline Nicolas PILLET

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Re: Space Station Spacesuits Suffer After Shuttle Shutdown
« Reply #7 on: 04/29/2017 04:58 PM »
What fundamentally limits a Dragon from transporting suits as shuttle did.  It's not docking port diameter.  Does ISS need a dedicated suit flight?

Orlan fits into a Progress, so I guess that EMU can fit into a Dragon...
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Online Olaf

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Re: Space Station Spacesuits Suffer After Shuttle Shutdown
« Reply #8 on: 04/29/2017 05:36 PM »
Do international partners ever go out in Russian suits? Don't think so...
No, I confirm they didn't.
What´s about J.-L. Chretien, T. Reiter and J.-P. Haignere from Mir?

Offline eric z

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Re: Space Station Spacesuits Suffer After Shuttle Shutdown
« Reply #9 on: 04/29/2017 05:59 PM »
 Thanks Olaf and Nicolas for the info; should have remembered MIR! My main point is that I'd like to see more joint operations of a future-oriented, experience-gaining nature; thinking back to the EVA "Wall" that needed to be overcome before Hubble and ISS repairs. A tremendous knowledge-base was gathered during those glorious construction years, too. Don't we need to use these last few years of ISS to gather as much operational EVA experience as possible, along with equipment testing in zero-g, vacuum environments? What if, heaven forbid,you get a meteor strike on the hull of ITS heading out to Mars with 100 future martians on board, and some crew has to go out and plug it like in an old Tom Corbett book? Not to mention lots of routine maintenance, etc. Or will they stay in pods like the guys in "2001"? We've got a great chance now to be investigating all this stuff, not just sequencing DNA and growing lettuce, as important as those things are too.

Online DaveS

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Re: Space Station Spacesuits Suffer After Shuttle Shutdown
« Reply #10 on: 04/29/2017 06:02 PM »
Shouldn't we have an international-suit that works easily out of different airlocks by now?

Orlan spacesuits can be used from Quest, that's why his name is "Joint Airlock". But it has never been done.
No they can't. The hardware for servicing the Orlans were never installed in the module so it can only support EVAs using the US EMUs.
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Online jgoldader

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Re: Space Station Spacesuits Suffer After Shuttle Shutdown
« Reply #11 on: 04/29/2017 06:06 PM »
What fundamentally limits a Dragon from transporting suits as shuttle did.  It's not docking port diameter.  Does ISS need a dedicated suit flight?

Nothing--one EMU was lost on the SpX-7 mission, as noted in the space suit report.  Ironic that losing that particular item might be the worst consequence of the mission failure.

WRT using an "international suit," isn't part of the issue that Orlan can't be customized as much as the EMUs for larger/smaller people?  And I suppose there's the loss of face in admitting the US now has to use Russian space suits as well as space ships.  What a mess (shakes head).
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Online DaveS

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Re: Space Station Spacesuits Suffer After Shuttle Shutdown
« Reply #12 on: 04/29/2017 07:15 PM »
WRT using an "international suit," isn't part of the issue that Orlan can't be customized as much as the EMUs for larger/smaller people?
That is exactly the problem with the Orlans. That is what caused Wendy Lawrence to be replaced with David Wolf for the Mir 24 crew. She flew as a regular Mission Specialist on the same mission that delivered Wolf to Mir however.
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Offline Sesquipedalian

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Re: Space Station Spacesuits Suffer After Shuttle Shutdown
« Reply #13 on: 04/29/2017 08:16 PM »
WRT using an "international suit," isn't part of the issue that Orlan can't be customized as much as the EMUs for larger/smaller people?

That is exactly the problem with the Orlans. That is what caused Wendy Lawrence to be replaced with David Wolf for the Mir 24 crew. She flew as a regular Mission Specialist on the same mission that delivered Wolf to Mir however.

I thought that was the size of the Soyuz seats (as also happened to Scott Parazynski), not the size of the Orlans.

Online DaveS

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Re: Space Station Spacesuits Suffer After Shuttle Shutdown
« Reply #14 on: 04/29/2017 08:33 PM »
WRT using an "international suit," isn't part of the issue that Orlan can't be customized as much as the EMUs for larger/smaller people?

That is exactly the problem with the Orlans. That is what caused Wendy Lawrence to be replaced with David Wolf for the Mir 24 crew. She flew as a regular Mission Specialist on the same mission that delivered Wolf to Mir however.

I thought that was the size of the Soyuz seats (as also happened to Scott Parazynski), not the size of the Orlans.
All the public NASA sources I have come across states that it was the Orlan size that caused the reassignment of Lawrence to a regular MS of the STS-86 crew.
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Offline Nicolas PILLET

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Re: Space Station Spacesuits Suffer After Shuttle Shutdown
« Reply #15 on: 04/29/2017 08:43 PM »
What´s about J.-L. Chretien, T. Reiter and J.-P. Haignere from Mir?

I was speaking only about ISS, of course ! :D
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Offline Patchouli

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Re: Space Station Spacesuits Suffer After Shuttle Shutdown
« Reply #16 on: 05/01/2017 12:59 AM »
What fundamentally limits a Dragon from transporting suits as shuttle did.  It's not docking port diameter.  Does ISS need a dedicated suit flight?

Nothing--one EMU was lost on the SpX-7 mission, as noted in the space suit report.  Ironic that losing that particular item might be the worst consequence of the mission failure.

WRT using an "international suit," isn't part of the issue that Orlan can't be customized as much as the EMUs for larger/smaller people?  And I suppose there's the loss of face in admitting the US now has to use Russian space suits as well as space ships.  What a mess (shakes head).

Why not just order some new suits of the same design from ILC Dover or get the Z-1 Suit into production?

Since it's of extreme importance fly it up on a Cygnus riding Atlas since that is the most reliable LV in service.
« Last Edit: 05/01/2017 01:01 AM by Patchouli »

Offline Sam Ho

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Re: Space Station Spacesuits Suffer After Shuttle Shutdown
« Reply #17 on: 05/01/2017 02:07 AM »
Why not just order some new suits of the same design from ILC Dover or get the Z-1 Suit into production?

Since it's of extreme importance fly it up on a Cygnus riding Atlas since that is the most reliable LV in service.
Please read the report. Ordering more of the existing PLSS packs is considered impractical. They're over 30 years old, and parts have been long out of production.

The Z-1 derivatives are discussed as well. There, the concern is how long it will take the new suits to be tested and certified.

As to delivery vehicles, Dragon is the vehicle of choice right now, since it's the only vehicle that can bring the existing suits back for refurbishment.

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Re: Space Station Spacesuits Suffer After Shuttle Shutdown
« Reply #18 on: 05/06/2017 01:51 AM »
Sounds like a lot of foot dragging, and nothing will be ready in time to use it on ISS. None the less, they need to make decisions, and move forward on something, otherwise spacewalks will be impossible with US made equipment.

The only viable solution is to put everything into the Orlan system and upgrade the airlock hardware for it.
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Online Olaf

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Re: Space Station Spacesuits Suffer After Shuttle Shutdown
« Reply #19 on: 12/30/2017 01:58 PM »
https://blogs.nasa.gov/stationreport/2017/12/
Quote
Extravehicular Mobility Unit (EMU) Swap and Commercial Resupply Services (CRS)-2 Feasibility Assessment:  The crew will review an overview of the EMU swap plan. EMU 3004 launched to ISS on Dragon in the Short EMU (SEMU) Launch Enclosure (SLE) and EMU 3010 will be returning.  The crew will transfer the SLE with EMU 3004 to Node 1 and remove the EMU.  They will swap the Vent Port and Battery Connector Covers between EMU 3004 and 3010. The SLE will be reinstalled into Dragon using new upper mounting pins and then EMU 3010 will be installed into the SLE in the Dragon cabin.  The hatch for CRS-2 will be too small to allow the SLE to be transferred to Node 1, so EMU rotations will need to occur in the CRS-2 Dragon cabin.  Performing the installation of EMU 3010 into the SLE in the Dragon cabin will build confidence and provide feedback for performing the swaps on CRS-2.

Offline Jim

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Re: Space Station Spacesuits Suffer After Shuttle Shutdown
« Reply #20 on: 12/30/2017 09:16 PM »

The only viable solution is to put everything into the Orlan system and upgrade the airlock hardware for it.

no, that is not viable either

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