Underwater Testing in the Development of EVA Support Systems

by R. E. Evans, McDonnell Douglas Astronautics Co, United States,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Engineering, Construction, and Operations in Space


The ability to simulate realistic zero-g conditions on Earth is of prime importance in determining if various orbital operations associated with extravehicular activity (EVA) can actually be accomplished in space. This paper assesses the methods and overall capabilities associated with underwater (UW) testing in the development of EVA support systems and associated manned EVA procedures. UW testing for this purpose is a powerful simulation tool that provides long duration, hands-on experience in a simulated zero-g environment. The ability to test design concepts in a realistic environment brings optimum solutions into focus faster and with greater confidence than analysis alone can provide. Included in this paper are various UW operations and their associated support systems that predict crew capabilities during actual EVA.

Subject Headings: Space life support systems | Space exploration | Space stations | Aircraft and spacecraft | Vehicles | Orbits | Flight

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