In-Situ Fabricated Space Suits for Extended Exploration and Settlement

TitleIn-Situ Fabricated Space Suits for Extended Exploration and Settlement
Publication TypeConference Paper
Year of Publication2017
AuthorsBartlett, H., J. Bowser, C. C. Hierro, S. Garner, L. Guloy, C. Hnatov, J. Kalman, and B. Sosis
EditorAkin, D. L.
Conference Name47th International Conference on Environmental Systems
Date Published07/2017
Conference LocationCharleston, South Carolina

Human Mars exploration will result in a demand for extravehicular activity one or two orders of magnitude beyond prior peak rates, occurring at the end of a 26-month logistics cycle. The extensive fabric “soft goods” of conventional spacesuits are subject to wear and abrasion, tend to carry dust back into the crew habitats, and replacement parts must be transported from Earth and stocked for use on need. This paper reports on the first year of an ongoing project at the University of Maryland (UMd) examining the technology of “hard suits,” in combination with recent advancements in additive manufacturing, to investigate the potential for the use of hard suits in Mars exploration with on-site fabrication of replacement parts, or even entire pressure garments on need. The current focus has been on materials testing, fabrication techniques, and testing methodologies in preparation for building a hard suit joint prototype

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