Author Topic: SpaceX EVA suit  (Read 236221 times)

Re: SpaceX EVA suit
« Reply #20 on: 07/01/2017 11:59 pm »
I doubt that the current design for their flight suit will be suitable for EVA. If and when they do choose to design a suit for EVA it will almost certainly be a mechanical counter pressure (MCP) design. It is the only one that fits with the SpaceX corporate culture. MCP suits are more functional than balloon, hard shell, or hybrid suit designs. It is also expected that MCP will make the suit an order of magnitude less expensive.

Offline uhuznaa

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Re: SpaceX EVA suit
« Reply #21 on: 07/03/2017 03:12 pm »
EVA suits and the kind of emergency pressure suits used during launch and return are nearly on opposite ends of a spectrum. EVA suits are optimized for doing hard work in vacuum and micro-g. IVA suits are optimized for the nominal case of being worn in a pressurized capsule (with the suit being at the same or only slightly higher pressure) while lying on the back doing hardly anything but taking several g of acceleration and pressing buttons.

You can see the differences at the helmets: The Soyuz suit and the Boeing/CST suit both have soft helmets and no neck ring, because you want to avoid anything hard for both comfort and safety during nominal use and accidents.  SpaceX's purported suit has a hard helmet, but it conforms to the head like a motorcycle or car racing helmet and is connected to the suit with a soft neck "tunnel". This way you can during nominal use move your head (with the helmet) around and you are wearing a conforming, padded crash helmet at the same time. If the capsule should depressurize, movement in the ballooning suit will be severely restricted, but in this case you're hardly more than (hopefully surviving) spam in a can anyway and won't have to move much in it before you're down in the atmosphere or on the ground again. The main thing is that in the targeted  nominal use case the suit is unpressurized, you're NOT weightless, and you will not move a lot (if at all). That's 100% opposite to what an EVA suit needs to be designed for.

You will never turn an IVA emergency pressure suit into an EVA (or Mars) suit by just adding stuff to it. They have radically different nominal use cases that make them very different right from the outset.

Offline uhuznaa

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Re: SpaceX EVA suit
« Reply #22 on: 07/04/2017 10:48 am »
I doubt that the current design for their flight suit will be suitable for EVA. If and when they do choose to design a suit for EVA it will almost certainly be a mechanical counter pressure (MCP) design. It is the only one that fits with the SpaceX corporate culture. MCP suits are more functional than balloon, hard shell, or hybrid suit designs. It is also expected that MCP will make the suit an order of magnitude less expensive.

Mechanical counter pressure suits are extremely hard to get right. They have to fit very precisely to avoid injuries and assuring this over long spaceflights is almost impossible. In zero-g people grow up to one inch (due to missing gravity load), they lose muscle and bone mass and after half a year in space even your personal customized suit will not fit anymore. It's a fascinating idea, but the human body just isn't simple enough to actually execute that idea.

If you have some smart meta-materials that can be actively controlled to exert constant mechanical pressure all over your body by contracting/relaxing individual fibers in a fabric things may change, but this is still SF. Until then just using an air buffer in an airtight suit to exert the right amount of pressure all over your body is much, much simpler.

Offline uhuznaa

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Re: SpaceX EVA suit
« Reply #23 on: 07/04/2017 11:14 pm »
You will never turn an IVA emergency pressure suit into an EVA (or Mars) suit by just adding stuff to it. They have radically different nominal use cases that make them very different right from the outset.

To quote and contradict myself: OF COURSE it would be great if you could design and build a suit that is both a great, safe, lightweight (and this is important if you may have to withstand 10 g at a ballistic reentry) and comfortable emergency IVA and a long-term hard-work reliable EVA Mars suit.

A suit that would do both admirably would be just great. But realizing that both have very different design constraints is helpful if you want to design a good IVA or EVA suit. Maybe limiting yourself to one of those roles at a time is a good start.

We should leave some things to improve on later. Maybe once there is a city on Mars and prospectors in the belt we will stop to bother with such lowly distinctions and if you have to build millions of suits clever things may scale up well, even if development is expensive. We are not at this point now though. These suits may see dozens of copies, not millions. It's the hand axe of space tools, but we have to start somewhere even in space.

Actually I very much liked the space suits in Guardians of the Galaxy II. Just a knob you slap onto your chest and they wrap you up nicely! Easy!
« Last Edit: 07/04/2017 11:14 pm by uhuznaa »

Offline DanielW

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Re: SpaceX EVA suit
« Reply #24 on: 07/04/2017 11:55 pm »
Why you wouldn't do layers like we do for all our other clothing? A, relatively, easy to don pressure suit for IVA and a mmod protection and thermal management snowmobile suit for EVA.

Offline Jim

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Re: SpaceX EVA suit
« Reply #25 on: 07/05/2017 01:24 am »
Why you wouldn't do layers like we do for all our other clothing? A, relatively, easy to don pressure suit for IVA and a mmod protection and thermal management snowmobile suit for EVA.

The difference is more than just outer layers

Offline darkenfast

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Re: SpaceX EVA suit
« Reply #26 on: 07/05/2017 06:29 am »
The Apollo suit was an example of a "do-it-all" system.  After that, NASA went with two systems and separated Launch and Entry from EVA in orbit.  I understand why they did it for on-orbit tasks, but for Mars missions where everyone on board is going to be walking around on the surface, might a new Apollo-type suit make sense?  I don't know enough to have an opinion on this.  Why did we move away from the Apollo model?   
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Offline AncientU

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Re: SpaceX EVA suit
« Reply #27 on: 07/05/2017 11:54 am »
They may use an unconventional approach, but that approach will still have to obey the laws of physics.

The laws of physics work two ways... first, you must (obviously) obey them, but second, if something is not precluded by them, then it is possible.  (In no way do the laws of physics say that if all these smart people haven't found a way to do it, then it must unphysical.)  Supersonic retro-propulsion is a good example.  Rocket engine thrust to weight ratios of 200 is another.

Being hide-bound by what has been done before doesn't seem to be a SpaceX attribute.  So the real question is whether a new approach is precluded by the laws of physics...
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Offline Cherokee43v6

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Re: SpaceX EVA suit
« Reply #28 on: 07/05/2017 12:22 pm »
When I hear 'EVA' suits for ITS, I'm thinking 'in transit' EVA for repair purposes, or possibly for low/zero G research missions at asteroids and comets.

Thing there is, by the time ITS is ready to fly, technology will have changed significantly.  For the 'repair' function, I can see something more along the lines of DEXTER combined with a VR system with tactile feedback gloves that would give the operator much better 'feel' for the work being done than a gloved EVA astronaut.

If the Astronaut really needs to be 'on-site' for either repair or to put human eyes on the research target, then I'd envision a 'hard-suit'/Mini-spaceship (like some of the early concepts in the advanced forums here) using a similar system to what I described above.

Of course, a Mars surface suit is a completely different animal, but even there some of the requirements would probably best be handled by teleoperated robotics.
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Offline DOCinCT

Re: SpaceX EVA suit
« Reply #29 on: 07/05/2017 03:51 pm »
.... For the 'repair' function, I can see something more along the lines of DEXTER combined with a VR system with tactile feedback gloves that would give the operator much better 'feel' for the work being done than a gloved EVA astronaut. .....
Of course, a Mars surface suit is a completely different animal, but even there some of the requirements would probably best be handled by teleoperated robotics.
Robert A. Heinlein  1940
waldo (plural waldos or waldoes)
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Offline Cherokee43v6

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Re: SpaceX EVA suit
« Reply #30 on: 07/05/2017 05:34 pm »
.... For the 'repair' function, I can see something more along the lines of DEXTER combined with a VR system with tactile feedback gloves that would give the operator much better 'feel' for the work being done than a gloved EVA astronaut. .....
Of course, a Mars surface suit is a completely different animal, but even there some of the requirements would probably best be handled by teleoperated robotics.
Robert A. Heinlein  1940
waldo (plural waldos or waldoes)
A remote manipulation system in which a slave device mimics the motions of a master device manipulated directly by the operator.  --- Wiktionary

A 'Waldo' gives very rough or minimal 'feedback' to the operator.  The kind of system I'm referring to would be like grabbing an apple with your hand and being able to tell the difference in texture between the skin, the stem and the fruit under the skin via the 'feel' provided by the sensory feedback.  Something a thick glove does not give, but will most likely be possible in the very near future.
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Offline jpo234

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Re: SpaceX EVA suit
« Reply #31 on: 07/05/2017 07:53 pm »
Thing there is, by the time ITS is ready to fly, technology will have changed significantly.  For the 'repair' function, I can see something more along the lines of DEXTER combined with a VR system with tactile feedback gloves that would give the operator much better 'feel' for the work being done than a gloved EVA astronaut.

If you follow this line of thinking, then there is no reason to do manned spaceflight at all. You could just use robots or tele presence for all missions.

I really think that manned spaceflight on the scale SpaceX envisions, requires at least the capability to perform EVA. It might not be the best solution, but it is human nature.
« Last Edit: 07/05/2017 07:54 pm by jpo234 »
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Offline Bob Shaw

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Re: SpaceX EVA suit
« Reply #32 on: 07/05/2017 08:03 pm »
For early flights, just buy suits from current manufacturers. Longer-term can wait until serious tests are done on Mars.

Offline JasonAW3

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Re: SpaceX EVA suit
« Reply #33 on: 07/05/2017 08:05 pm »
Thing there is, by the time ITS is ready to fly, technology will have changed significantly.  For the 'repair' function, I can see something more along the lines of DEXTER combined with a VR system with tactile feedback gloves that would give the operator much better 'feel' for the work being done than a gloved EVA astronaut.

If you follow this line of thinking, then there is no reason to do manned spaceflight at all. You could just use robots or tele presence for all missions.

I really think that manned spaceflight on the scale SpaceX envisions, requires at least the capability to perform EVA. It might not be the best solution, but it is human nature.

Sorry, telepresence just won't cut it.

      The signal round trip to the moon and back is nearly 4 seconds as it is.  And a lot can happen in 4 seconds.

      Mars? forget about it.  Signal round trips of 40 minutes, more or less, so that's right off the books.

      Localized telepresence of up to about 1000 Kilometers distance is probably your best you're going to get.  (Likely far less on Mars, as no over the horizon telecommunications has been set up yet).

My God!  It's full of universes!

Offline Jim

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Re: SpaceX EVA suit
« Reply #34 on: 07/05/2017 08:17 pm »
Telepresence between inside and outside the ship

Offline clongton

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Re: SpaceX EVA suit
« Reply #35 on: 07/05/2017 08:22 pm »
When I hear 'EVA' suits for ITS, I'm thinking 'in transit' EVA for repair purposes, ...

The ITS design will likely have as much as humanly possible accessible from inside the pressurized hull, no EVA required for repairs. Repairs will be in a pressurized or IVA environment.

Edit: as Jim indicated above the remainder will be accomplished robotically thru telepresence.
SpaceX is not going to want to have to send anybody outside in interplanetary space.
« Last Edit: 07/05/2017 08:24 pm by clongton »
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Offline IntoTheVoid

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Re: SpaceX EVA suit
« Reply #36 on: 07/05/2017 09:21 pm »
For early flights, just buy suits from current manufacturers. Longer-term can wait until serious tests are done on Mars.

From an ISS thread
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.

Offline Lars-J

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Re: SpaceX EVA suit
« Reply #37 on: 07/05/2017 09:35 pm »
When I hear 'EVA' suits for ITS, I'm thinking 'in transit' EVA for repair purposes, ...

The ITS design will likely have as much as humanly possible accessible from inside the pressurized hull, no EVA required for repairs. Repairs will be in a pressurized or IVA environment.

Edit: as Jim indicated above the remainder will be accomplished robotically thru telepresence.
SpaceX is not going to want to have to send anybody outside in interplanetary space.

The emergency capability must be there for ITS, there is after all at least one airlock that can be used. But that does not mean that every suit that SpaceX makes (or buys) would be capable of it.

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Re: SpaceX EVA suit
« Reply #38 on: 07/05/2017 10:08 pm »
Thing there is, by the time ITS is ready to fly, technology will have changed significantly.  For the 'repair' function, I can see something more along the lines of DEXTER combined with a VR system with tactile feedback gloves that would give the operator much better 'feel' for the work being done than a gloved EVA astronaut.

If you follow this line of thinking, then there is no reason to do manned spaceflight at all. You could just use robots or tele presence for all missions.

I really think that manned spaceflight on the scale SpaceX envisions, requires at least the capability to perform EVA. It might not be the best solution, but it is human nature.
This argument seems like a non sequitur.  SpaceX wants to transport humans to destinations off of Earth.  The necessity and desirability of EVAs is a design detail not a mission requirement.
Space is not Highlander.  There can, and will, be more than one.

Offline clongton

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Re: SpaceX EVA suit
« Reply #39 on: 07/06/2017 11:45 am »
The emergency capability must be there for ITS, there is after all at least one airlock that can be used. But that does not mean that every suit that SpaceX makes (or buys) would be capable of it.

Lars, what is on the outside of the ITS that would need human intervention? Remember that the ITS is an aerodynamically shaped vehicle. It will have a smooth surface for earth atmospheric entry. Like Shuttle, It will "fly" most of the way down.
« Last Edit: 07/06/2017 11:48 am by clongton »
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