Russian Orian spacesuit

Walking in space – During Gemini IV, White would become the first American to venture outside his spacecraft for what is officially known as an extravehicular activity, or EVA. The world has come to know it as a spacewalk.

A space suit is a garment worn to keep a human alive in the harsh environment of outer space, vacuum and temperature extremes. Space suits are often worn inside spacecraft as a safety precaution in case of loss of cabin pressure, and are necessary for extravehicular activity (EVA), work done outside spacecraft. Space suits have been worn for such work in Earth orbit, on the surface of the Moon, and en route back to Earth from the Moon.

Modern space suits augment the basic pressure garment with a complex system of equipment and environmental systems designed to keep the wearer comfortable, and to minimize the effort required to bend the limbs, resisting a soft pressure garment’s natural tendency to stiffen against the vacuum. A self-contained oxygen supply and environmental control system is frequently employed to allow complete freedom of movement, independent of the spacecraft.

  • extravehicular activity, or EVA – a skill that allowed Apollo explorers to walk on the moon and American astronauts and their partners from around the world to build the International Space Station.

Spacesuits must provide all of the comfort and support that the Earth or a spacecraft does, addressing issues like atmosphere, water and protection from radiation.

Neoprene-coated fibers –

Fuel cell replacement task
NASA has determined that the fuel cell will fail soon
You must replace the fuel cell with the spare.
Start by removing the wing nut on the auxiliary power unit cover and fuel cell and then replace the cell, wing nuts and cover and test it.

Green light. Replacement cell is working
Buzzer. Replacement cell not working.
Push to test.
What’s the problem?
NASA’s Asteroid Bound Spacesuit – to fit into the agency’s new, compact Orion spacecraft, NASA’s designers have been examining what features need to be included and improved to give the bulky Advanced Crew Escape System (ACES) suit greater mobility. Among the many changes that will be built into the suit are a set of enhanced gloves and more flexible elbow joints.

  • Ask – What are some of the special requirements for a suit to wear in space? Why are these changes necessary? When will the new designs be used?
  • Imagine – What other suit designs are currently being used? How are these designs being used? Can these designs be adapted for the Orion missions?
  • Plan, Create – What modification of existing designs are being made? How would you test a space suit before actually going out into space?
  • Improve – Using ideas and designs from other similar but different programs significantly shortens the development and testing process. Engineers often build on earlier work and make it better.

Engineering ideas

  • radiation, air-tight, pressurized, mobility, communication, temperature regulation, extravehicular activity

Learn more…