Author Topic: Can the same spacesuit be used in Orion, Crew Dragon, and Starliner?  (Read 981 times)

Online DanClemmensen

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Can a crew member who launches on Starliner return on Crew Dragon in the same spacesuit, or are the fittings different?  Similarly, If a crew member launches on Orion and somehow returns to LEO on HLS, can the crew member then return to Earth on on Crew Dragon or Starliner in the same spacesuit?

Bonus points: can any of these spacesuits also be used in Soyuz?

Online DaveS

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The answer is no. Each suit is specific to that spacecraft.
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Offline dgmckenzie

How about an adaptor ?

Online butters

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How about an adaptor ?
The suit and seat function as an integrated system. It's not just the fluid and electrical interfaces but also the physical interface with the suited astronaut fitting properly in the seat. At the risk of implying anything about how astronaut butts look in their spacesuits, it's likely that an astronaut in a Starliner or Orion suit would not fit in a Dragon seat that was properly-sized for their custom-fitted Dragon suit. And the seat fit might not be snug enough for reentry/landing forces if they were to sit in Starliner or Orion seat while wearing a Dragon suit.

Online DanClemmensen

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How about an adaptor ?
The suit and seat function as an integrated system. It's not just the fluid and electrical interfaces but also the physical interface with the suited astronaut fitting properly in the seat. At the risk of implying anything about how astronaut butts look in their spacesuits, it's likely that an astronaut in a Starliner or Orion suit would not fit in a Dragon seat that was properly-sized for their custom-fitted Dragon suit. And the seat fit might not be snug enough for reentry/landing forces if they were to sit in Starliner or Orion seat while wearing a Dragon suit.
You seem to imply that Starliner and Orion might be interoperable, but not Crew Dragon. Is this the case?

Online butters

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How about an adaptor ?
The suit and seat function as an integrated system. It's not just the fluid and electrical interfaces but also the physical interface with the suited astronaut fitting properly in the seat. At the risk of implying anything about how astronaut butts look in their spacesuits, it's likely that an astronaut in a Starliner or Orion suit would not fit in a Dragon seat that was properly-sized for their custom-fitted Dragon suit. And the seat fit might not be snug enough for reentry/landing forces if they were to sit in Starliner or Orion seat while wearing a Dragon suit.
You seem to imply that Starliner and Orion might be interoperable, but not Crew Dragon. Is this the case?
I did not intend to imply that. My wording there was only about Starliner and Orion suits both being incompatible with Dragon, no implication about the interoperability of Starliner and Orion suits.

Offline whitelancer64

IMO, this is something of a missed opportunity by NASA. They could have required that pressure suits made for one commercial crew vehicle be compatible with any other, at least with the use of an adapter. This would have allowed some greater flexibility during crew handoffs on the ISS. However, that's not the intended conops for ISS crew handoffs.
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Online DanClemmensen

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IMO, this is something of a missed opportunity by NASA. They could have required that pressure suits made for one commercial crew vehicle be compatible with any other, at least with the use of an adapter. This would have allowed some greater flexibility during crew handoffs on the ISS. However, that's not the intended conops for ISS crew handoffs.
This incompatibility and the inability to dock two CCP vehicles to each other rule out a several contingency scenarios. Are there any plans to ever fix this? What about suits for HLS? does the crew use one while in Orion and a different suit while in HLS, and yet a third suit for actual Lunar excursions?

Offline whitelancer64

IMO, this is something of a missed opportunity by NASA. They could have required that pressure suits made for one commercial crew vehicle be compatible with any other, at least with the use of an adapter. This would have allowed some greater flexibility during crew handoffs on the ISS. However, that's not the intended conops for ISS crew handoffs.

This incompatibility and the inability to dock two CCP vehicles to each other rule out a several contingency scenarios. Are there any plans to ever fix this? What about suits for HLS? does the crew use one while in Orion and a different suit while in HLS, and yet a third suit for actual Lunar excursions?

Dragon and Starliner both do not have the passive latches needed to operate in passive docking mode, so neither one could dock to each other. However, Orion will have these passive latches and could be docked to by either of them. I doubt this will ever be changed, even post-ISS, for any LEO space station operations, for the reasons given by woods170:

"Well, the reason for that is any emergency that would force the ISS to be abandoned in a hurry. If for example all systems on ISS would fail due to a catastrophic event, the CCP vehicles still need to be able to undock themselves from the ISS. That can only be done by unlatching their own active hooks from the IDA passive hooks. If it was reversed, the catastropic failure onboard ISS would potentially prevent the CCP crew from telecommanding the IDA active hooks to open. So, that is why there are no passive hooks present on the CCP vehicles. Only active hooks."

https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=51346.msg2333587#msg2333587

You're correct that this does eliminate some possible emergency contingency scenarios, however unlikely they are.

SpaceX does need to modify its docking system so it is capable of both active / passive modes for Starship HLS. This should be relatively easy.  Orion will need to active dock to passive HLS when it arrive, and then HLS will need to active dock with passive Orion when it returns from the lunar surface.

I am presuming -- but have seen nothing to confirm this -- that NASA will use the Orion pressure suits for lunar descent / ascent with Starship HLS. Those suits would already be on Orion and it would seem silly for NASA to have to spend more money to have yet another set of pressure suits on Starship. I also presume the lunar surface EVA suits will be launched on the Starship HLS.
"One bit of advice: it is important to view knowledge as sort of a semantic tree -- make sure you understand the fundamental principles, ie the trunk and big branches, before you get into the leaves/details or there is nothing for them to hang on to." - Elon Musk
"There are lies, damned lies, and launch schedules." - Larry J

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