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Rev 7/27/00



Crew and Thermal Systems Division, NASA

Johnson Space Center
2101 NASA Road 1
Houston, Texas 77058

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The Extravehicular Mobility Unit (EMU) provides a crewmember with the life support
equipment and mobile pressure enclosure necessary to perform Extravehicular Activity
(EVA) while in an earth orbit. The EMU consists of two major subsystems; the Life
Support Subsystem (LSS) and the Space Suit Assembly (SSA).


• Atmosphere containment
• High mobility body joints
• Thermal insulation
• Cooling distribution
• Drinking water
• Waste collection
• Sunlight and solar radiation protection
• Micrometeoroid/Orbital Debris (MMOD) protection
• Interfaces for attachment of other EVA-related equipment


• Primary oxygen supply

• Suit pressurization and ventilation
• Communications
• Breathing gas purification
• Temperature control
• Power
• An interface for servicing
• Interfaces for attachment of other EVA-related equipment
• Suit health display feedback
• Independent emergency oxygen supply
• Suit “health check” instrumentation and telemetry data

The Shuttle Extravehicular Mobility Unit (EMU) has dramatically demonstrated the
ability of humans to work effectively in space. EVA highlights include the refueling and
repair of satellites on orbit, retrieval of satellites for refurbishment on earth, and the
assembly of Space Station structures. The EMU has and will continue to play a vital role
in allowing America’s Space Shuttle to fulfill a wide spectrum of space tasks such as
inspection, maintenance, repair, construction and if necessary, rescue operations. In
addition, the present Shuttle EMU is used for International Space Station (ISS) EVA
activities – assembly and operations.

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The EMU is designed to fit both men and women. The space suit/life support system,
which serves as a one-person spacecraft, provides protection and earth-like mobility for
astronauts working in space.

The EMU is designed to accommodate an EVA mission consisting of the following


a) Total duration of 7 hours maximum or 6 hours maximum under the worst-case

solar exposure.

b) An average metabolic rate of 1000 Btu/Hr for 7 hours.

c) Peak metabolic rates of 2000 Btu/Hr for 15 minutes and 1600 Btu/Hr for 1 hour at
anytime within the EVA.

d) Minimum rate of 400 Btu/Hr for 30 minutes after an average work rate of 1000
Btu/Hr and followed by a rate of 700 Btu/Hr for up to 30 minutes.

e) Prebreathe (a process which flushes Nitrogen from the blood, thereby reducing the
risk of experiencing Decompression Sickness (DCS)) can be as short as 40 minutes
with a 10.2 psia cabin pressure or as long as 4 hours with a 14.7 psia cabin

f) System will provide 2 hours DCS Treatment with a cabin pressure of 14.7 psia.


The Life Support Subsystem (LSS) consists of subsystems, which are briefly described in
the following paragraphs:

1) Primary Life Support Subsystem (PLSS)

2) Secondary Oxygen Pack (SOP)

3) Display and Control Module (DCM)

4) Service and Cooling Umbilical (SCU)

5) EMU Electrical Harness (EEH)

6) Airlock Adapter Plate (AAP)

7) Contaminant Control Cartridge (CCC)

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8) Battery

9) Bends Treatment Adapter (BTA)

10) Secondary Oxygen Pack Checkout Fixture (SCOF)

11) Helmet Holding Fixture (HHF)

12) Power Harness


The PLSS is made up of four distinct circuits:

1) Oxygen Ventilation Circuit

2) Primary Oxygen Circuit
3) Feedwater Circuit
4) Liquid Transport Circuit

These circuits provide suitable breathing environment and

thermal control for the crewmember inside the Space Suit
enclosure. The Primary Oxygen Circuit supplies oxygen at
regulated pressure to the Oxygen Ventilation Circuit for
crewmember breathing, SSA pressurization, and Water
Tank water expulsion. The fan portion of the
Fan/Pump/Separator, located in the Oxygen Ventilation
Circuit, circulates the oxygen and gas exhaled by the
crewmember through connecting ducts and items. The
exhaled CO2 is removed from the breathing environment by
a CCC or a METOX cartridge. Cooling and humidity
removal occurs as the oxygen circulates through the
sublimator. Additionally, primary oxygen is also directed
through ducting to pressurize the water storage tanks
located in the Feedwater Circuit. The water storage tanks
supply expendable water at regulated pressure to the
sublimator. The feedwater circuit in the sublimator is open
to atmosphere (vacuum), and, as the expandable water is
fed into the sublimator, it freezes and then sublimates to
space. This sublimation removes heat from the Liquid
Transport Circuit. The pump circulates cooling water
through the Liquid Transport Circuit, which includes the
Liquid Cooling and Ventilation Garment of the SSA, worn
by the crewmember. The water removes heat from the
crewmember and is cooled by the sublimator.

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The SOP attaches to the bottom of the PLSS and

provides 30 minutes of back-up pressure regulated
oxygen in the event that:

1) The primary oxygen supply is exhausted

2) Primary pressure regulation is lost, via a regulator failure of excessive oxygen


3) One of the Purge Valves are opened due to: a) The PLSS fails to remove
contaminates in the ventilation circuit, heat, or humidity; b) Ventilation flow
drops below acceptable levels.


The DCM provides EVA crewmembers electrical and

mechanical controls required for one person operation
of the EMU, and contains a Liquid Crystal Display
(LCD). The LCD, in conjunction with the Cautions
and Warning System (CWS) displays EMU operational
information in alphanumeric format to the EVA


The SCU connects the EMU to the orbiter service panel

and is used to 1) replenish PLSS consumables, 2) supply
cooling and expendables during umbilical operations,
and 3) allow wastewater drainage. The CCC is the only
consumable not recharged by the SCU.


The EMU Electrical Harness is located within the Hard Upper

Torso (HUT) and connects the Communication Carrier
Assembly (CCA) and the biomedical sensors to the EMU
Electrical System.

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The AAP is a mounting structure used to attach the EMU to the

orbiter airlock wall. The EMU is secured to the AAP by four
mounting pins and the AAP is retained to the orbiter airlock wall
by three supports.


The CCC is a crewmember replaceable module used in the

PLSS to remove CO2, odors, particulate and other
contaminants from the Oxygen Ventilation Circuit.


The battery supplies all power to the EMU excluding EMU

lights when it is not operating on vehicle power via the SCU.


The BTA is an emergency device, which is used on orbit in the

event of an EVA crewmember contracting decompression sickness.
It permits EMU usage as a hyperbaric (8 psi above airlock
pressure) bends treatment chamber.


The SCOF is a device used in place of the Helmet to seal

off the Oxygen Ventilation Circuit and provide over
pressurization protection during pre-EVA activity (SOP
checkout, fan checkout and water discharge/recharge).

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The HHF provides for the storage of a Helmet/EVVA. The HHF

mounts to the airlock floor during launch and landing.


The Power Harness is designed to reduce the profile of

the glove by moving the power source for the heating
elements from its original location on the back of the
EMU glove to the PLSS. Each glove contains one heater
element per fingertip powered by the Rechargeable EMU
battery Assembly (REBA) located on the right side of
the PLSS. The battery, which will provide up to eight
hours of operation, is connected to the heater elements
via 8 to 10 feet of copper cabling that runs under the
TMG from the battery, down through the arms of the
EMU. The Power Harness provides an electrical
connection between the Electronic Cuff Checklist, TV
Camera, and the REBA.


The Space Suit Assembly (SSA), consists of nine subassemblies which are described

1) Communications Carrier Assembly (CCA)

2) Hard Upper Torso (HUT)

3) Arm Assembly

4) Lower Torso Assembly (LTA)

5) Helmet

6) Gloves

7) Liquid Cooling and Ventilation Garment (LCVG)

8) Extravehicular Visor Assembly (EVVA)

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9) Disposable In-Suit Drink Bag (DIDB)

The SSA interfaces with the Primary Life Support Subsystem (PLSS) and the Display and
Controls Module (DCM) at the HUT. The PLSS provides mechanical, electrical, and
fluid interfaces where it joins the HUT.

The SSA components are designed to closely approximate the natural anthropometric
joint movements. This is accomplished with low-torque mobility joints at the hip, knee,
ankle, and hand and with low-torque mobility bearings at the shoulder, waist, elbow and


The CCA is a cloth aviator-type cap worn under the pressure suit
helmet. It fits over the crewmember’s head and snaps into place
with a chin or neck strap. It contains microphones and
headphones for communicating with crewmembers and receiving
caution and warning tones.


The HUT is the portion of the pressure suit that

encloses the upper torso of the body. It provides
the structural mounting interface for most of the
EMU; Helmet, Arms, Lower Torso Assembly,
Primary Life Support Subsystem, Display and
Control Module, Power Harness, and the Electrical
Harness. It is made of a fiberglass shell. Integral
to the HUT are passageways for fill and drain
water, vent air, and cooling water. Tubing for vent
air and cooling water is attached to these
passageways, leading to the Multiple Water
Connector. The Multiple Water Connector
interfaces to the Liquid Cooling Vent Garment
(LCVG) with its cooling water and vent systems.
The Thermal Micrometeoroid Garment (TMG)
provides protection for the HUT.

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The left and right Arm Assemblies are

flexible, anthropomorphic pressure
vessels made of heat sealed, urethane-
coated, nylon bladder fabric enclosed in
polyester restraint fabric. The assembly
contains the shoulder joints, upper arm
bearings, elbow joints, and wrist bearings
that permit joint mobility. Thermal
protection for the arm assemblies is
provided by TMG.

The lower arm assembly uses adjustable

arm brackets as well as a metal Arm
Sizing Ring for sizing. These items were
designed to allow crewmembers to
perform sizing tasks on-orbit. There are
four adjustable arm brackets (cams), two
at each end of the arm segment. Each
cam can adjust .025” for a total of .5”.
The Arm Sizing Ring adds an additional
0.5” of length to the lower arm.

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The LTA encompasses the lower torso, legs, and feet of the
crewmember. It is composed of an Adjustable Waist
Assembly, Trouser Assembly, Leg Assembly and Boot
Assembly. The adjustable waist allows the crewmember to
make two, one-inch adjustments to the length of the waist on
orbit, when other crewmembers need to wear the same suit.
These fabric elements are joined through attachment to
hardware, and in all cases the attachment is by flange
mounting. Boots are joined to the Trousers by the Boot
Disconnects; Trousers are joined to the Waist Assembly
through the Waist Bearing, and the Waist Assembly is
attached to the Body Seal Closure (BSC). Interface of the
LTA to the HUT is accomplished via the BSC. Thermal
protection for the LTA is provided by TMG’s. The TMG
elements for the LTA are the Boot, Leg, Brief, and Waist
TMG Assemblies. The TMG components are sized to fit the
corresponding Restraint Assemblies.

The LTA can be sized with adjustable le brackets and sizing rings. The leg assemblies
contain brackets that can be adjusted in .5” increments for a total of 1.0”. Crewmembers
with long legs can be accommodated by adding a 0.5” Thigh Sizing Ring. The distance
between the knee and the foot can also be adjusted with Leg Sizing Rings in 0.5”
increments from 0.5” to 1.5” rings.


The Helmet is the portion of the pressure suit providing a

pressure vessel for the head. It is made of clear
polycarbonate bubble with a neck disconnect and
ventilation pad. The Helmet contains the following
subassemblies: Bubble, Neck Ring, Combination Purge
Valve (CPV), and Vent Pad. The Bubble, Neck Ring and
Vent Pad are permanently secured while the CPV, attached
to the left side of the Bubble with three screws, is
removable. The Neck Ring provides for quick disconnect
of the Helmet from the HUT. The Vent Pad, mounted in
the back of the helmet, directs vent flow oxygen from the
HUT to the front areas of the Helmet Bubble. The CPV
provides redundancy for O2 circulation in the event that
your O2 vent flow fan fails. The Helmet provides for semi-
permanent attachment of a supplemental Extravehicular
Visor Assembly (EVVA) for all extravehicular operations.

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The Gloves are the active interface between the

crewmember and the work being performed. As
such, they must perform a variety of functions
while preserving an effective degree of tactility.
The glove must also provide a protective barrier
against the natural environment, as well as work
place hazards. The gloves have electrical heaters
in the tips of the fingers that can be turned on by
the crewmember, when desired. The EV glove is
comprised of the following basic components:
Restraint, Bladder, and TMG.


The LCVG is a conformal garment worn under the pressure suit to

maintain body temperature. It has ethylene vinyl acetate tubing woven
through the spandex restraint cloth. Cooling water LCVG also
contains the ducts for returning vent air to the HUT for transfer to the
PLSS, and retains the dosimeter, signal conditioner, biomedical leads,
and an electrical grounding lead for the crewmember. The multiple
water connector interfaces to the HUT with its cooling water and vent


The EVVA fits over and attaches to the Helmet to

provide the crewmember with visual, thermal,
impact, and micrometeoroid protection in space. It
has a polycarbonate shell, stationary polycarbonate
Protective Visor, movable polysulfone Sun Visor,
and movable fiberglass/epoxy Center and Side
Eyeshades. The Sun Visor and the Center Eyeshade
are manually adjustable by rotating the supporting
hubs. Grasping a tab with the hand moves each Side
Eyeshade. A Thermal Micrometeoroid Garment
covering is attached to the outside of the shell.

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The IDB is a re-useable heat-sealed, flexible

container made of polyester based polyurethane film
and comes in two sizes. It can hold up to either 21
oz. Or 32 oz. of drinking water for use during EVA.
It is mounted to the inner front wall of the HUT with
Velcro and has a tube extending to the neck area.
There is a Drink Valve, which can be adjusted to a
position within reach of the lower right corner of the
mouth. Sucking on the mouthpiece opens the valve
and permits the crewmember to drink water from the


The DIDB is an expendable heat-sealed flexible

container made of polyethylene film. It holds 32 oz. of
drinking water for use during EVA and is mounted to the
inner front wall of the HUT with Velcro. There is a tube
extending from the drink valve to the neck area that can
be placed in either the lower right or lower left corner of
the mouth. Netting in the bag creates a wicking action in
0-G so water propagates to the drink valve. Sucking on
the mouthpiece opens the diaphragm valve and permits
the crewmember to drink water from the DIDB.

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EMU Support and ancillary equipment includes:

- EMU light – An incandescent lamp and battery

assembly that mounts on the EVVA to provide
the EVA crewmember with light as needed.

- EMU TV – A small EVVA mounted

modularized television transmission assembly,
including camera that provides the EVA
crewmember with mobile camera capability.

- Electronic Cuff Checklist – a computer-based device attached to the glove garment

that provides menu driven instructions and information to the crewmember.

- Tethers – Strap like devices used to tether tools and other items to the EMU and the
EMU to anchor points on the Orbiter and the International Space Station (ISS).

35 Foot Tether Waist Tether Wrist Tether

- Airlock stowage bag – A bag used to store items during suit donning or doffing.

- EMU prep kit – A kit containing items used in preparing the EMU for EVA or for
storage after an EVA.

- Antifog wipes
- Package of tissue-type wipes
- Scissors with a lanyard

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- EMU maintenance kit – A kit containing items used in normal and contingency
maintenance of the EMU as well as spares for some items in the prep kit.

- Valsalva devices
- Stericide wipes
- Lubricant wipes
- Antifog wipes
- SOP removal tool
- Thermal cover lacing cord and needle

- LTA Donning handles – Devices used during suit

donning to aid the crewmember in mating the lower torso
to the upper torso.

- Wrist mirror – A mirror attached to the wrist of the EMU

for viewing EMU controls out of crewmember’s normal
field of view.

- Cuff checklist – A short form checklist of EVA

procedures and EMU malfunction procedures attached
to the wrist of the EMU for use during EVA.

- EMU scissors – A pair of scissors located in an EMU

pocket. They are tethered to the EMU for use as
needed to cut tethers, thermal blankets and other

- Adjustable Thermal mittens – Mittens

that fit over the gloves of the EMU to
provide additional thermal protection.

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- Mini-work station (MWS) – A device
that attached to the HUT and is used in
the transport and management of tools.

- Maximum Absorbency Garment (MAG)

- A disposable device used for collecting
crewmember urine.

- Thermal Comfort Undergarment (TCU) -

A crewmember garment worn under the LCVG
used to enhance physical comfort and to allow
LCVG to remain clean for a longer period of

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The theme of the patch is “Extending the Dimensions of Man”. It is derived from the
Leonardo da Vinci sketch entitled “The Dimensions of Man” and is meant to be an
expansion of the dimensional, medical, and scientific aspects of the original work. It is
fitting that the theme of the patch is associated with the original da Vinci work since the
evolution of the Space Shuttle EMU from it’s Gemini, Apollo, and Skylab origins
represents the closest achievement of the ultimate EMU design goal. That of providing
EVA mobility limited not by hardware but by man’s natural range.

The three stars represent the three historic milestones in U.S. extravehicular activity’
America’s first EVA by Ed White during Gemini IV, man’s first steps on the lunar
surface by Neil Armstrong and the EVA’s performed by Pete Conrad and Joe Kerwin to
repair and eventually save the Skylab Space Station. The NASA EVA patch is located on
the right shoulder of the space suit and represents the EVA community.

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The EMU design, development and manufacturing program is being accomplished by
many companies located across the United States with all of them working closely with
the NASA. Four of the major contractors are:

Prime contractor for the EMU:

Hamilton Sundstrand
One Hamilton Road
Windsor Locks, Connecticut 06096
Phone: (860) 654-2854
Contact: Bob Poisson

Subcontractor for the Space Suit:

ILC Dover, Inc.
One Moonwalker Road
Frederica, Delaware
Phone: 302-335-3911
Contact: Phil Spampinato

Subcontractor for the Space Suit Hardware:

Air-Lock Inc.
Wampus Lane
Milford, Connecticut 06460
Phone: (203) 878-4691
Contact: Jim Edwards

Subcontractor for the Space Suit Visor Coatings:

Deposition Research Laboratory, Inc.
530 Little Hills Blvd.
St. Charles, Missouri 63301
Phone: (314) 940-0768
Contact: Steve Chelli

The following four pages contain additional information on these companies.

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Hamilton Sundstrand provides the
Extravehicular Mobility Unit for NASA. This SPECIFICATIONS
integrated space suit/ life support system
permits astronauts to work comfortably and
Mission Duration: 7 hours EVA
safely in space.

The EMU is modularized to fit both men and Operating Environment: 0 psia (pounds per square inch
women. The space suit/life support system, absolute) to 14.7 psia
which serves as a one-person spacecraft,
provides protection and earth-like mobility for Suit Operating Pressure: 4.3 psid (pounds per square
astronauts working in space. inch differential)

Space Suit Assembly (SSA) provides: Emergency Life Support: 30 minutes

· Atmosphere containment
· High-mobility and Iow-torque body joints Useful Life: Up to 30 years with appropriate
· Thermal insulation
· Cooling distribution maintenance
· Drinking water
· Waste collection Modular Components: 18 different items -
· Sunlight and solar radiation protection 7 Life Support System 11 Space Suit
· Micrometeoroid and debris protection Assembly

Life Support System (LSS) provides: Sizing: Modular assembly fits

5th to 95th percentile male
· Oxygen supply and female astronauts
· Suit pressurization and ventilation
· Communications Construction: Space Suit Assembly
· Breathing gas purification · Urethane-coated, nylon pressure
· Temperature control bladder
· Independent emergency life support · Orthofabric and aluminized mylar
thermal/meteoroid garment
For safety, the EMU is constantly monitored by · Fiberglass hard upper torso
a Caution and Warning System, which · Ball-bearing joints
monitors 17 sensors, contaminant levels and · Polycarbonate helmet and visors
remaining expendables such as oxygen, water · On-orbit resizing
and power. Life Support System
· Interchangeable subsystem modules
for ease of maintenance and servicing
· Expendables replaceable or
rechargeable on orbit

Weight: Approximately 275 pounds

Donning: 15 minutes

Workaids: Compatible with

- Work stations
- Manual and power tools
- Helmet-mounted video
camera and lights
- Tethers
- Foot restraints
- Simplified Aid for EVA
Rescue (SAFER)
- Electronic Cuff Checklist

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Cross Section of Experience

NASA Space Suit Design Highlights

Apollo Space Station

• Used for IVA During Trans Lunar Flight • Redesigned for Higher Mobility, On Orbit
• Used for All Lunar EVA & Transfer Vehicles Changeout
• Custom Fit, Pure O2, Water Cooled, 3.8 psi • Heated Glove with Better Tactile Capabilities
• 160 hrs on Lunar Surface • Greatly Increased Cycle Life
• Operational Environment: -250°F to +250°F,
Dust Mark III Technology
Shuttle Demonstrator
• Benchmark Suit for Mobility
• Designed for Standard Sizing, 4.3 psi
• High Pressure 8.3 psi Hardsuit (No Prebreathing)
• Continuing Glove Improvements
• Operational Environment: Payload Bay - Deep
Space Lunar/Mars Suit Prototype
• Designed for Lightweight, High Mobility
• Operational Environment: Fractional Gravity,

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DESIGN & MANUFACTURING EXPERTISE process was used to produce the Cast Aluminum MK III
HUT and Hatch which was delivered to Lockheed in 1988.
-GEMINI This technology gained the interest of NASA and in turn
Air-Lock's design and manufacturing expertise was they directed Hamilton Standard to purchase a Shuttle
directed towards supplying Gemini Suit Hardware, which compatible unit from Air-Lock. A second cast aluminum
included Glove and Helmet Disconnects, Wrist Bearings as HUT was furnished to Hamilton Standard in 1990. This
well as Oxygen and Biomedical Connectors. HUT, a proto-type for the Shuttle EMU, is still successfully
being used in the WETF at NASA/JSC.
Air-Lock designed and manufactured all of the suit In 1990, in an unsolicited proposal, Air-Lock
hardware for the Apollo program. Additionally, when the need attempted to convince NASA to consider an advanced
became apparent in the beginning of the Apollo Program for Iow cost solution to the 'pivoted shoulder" problem.
an advanced helmet. Air-Lock using'lR&D funds, over a 12 They submitted a pivotless planar HUT model with new
month period, designed and fabricated the equipment required arm hole geometry to NASA and Hamilton Standard.
to manufacture polycarbonate helmets. This R&D effort As a direct result of this submission, the Shuttle
produced functional helmets which were flown on all of the program is now replacing all Shuttle pivoted flight HUTs
Apollo and Skylab missions. They are still manufacturing with planar HUTs.
these helmets today in support of the Shuttle Program.
NASA became interested in a development
effort for overall weight reduction of future HUT
structures. In 1990, Air-Lock independently established
All of the Wrist, Arm, Scye and Waist Bearings,
on-site capabilities to support the fabrication of carbon
Wrist Disconnects, Helmet Assemblies, Suit Side Neck Ring
fiber/graphite composite hardware. In 1991 NASA
Assemblies. Waist Disconnect (Body Seal Closure), EWA selected Air-Lock as the sole source for the design and
(Extra Vehicular Visor Assembly) and many of the valve, gas fabrication of a carbon composite rear entry HUT.
and electrical connectors currently used on the Space Shuttle Under a January 1992 CPFF contract to NASA, Air-
were designed and manufactured by Air-Lock. Lock designed, manufactured, tested and delivered this
all composite Bi-planar rear entry HUT/Hatch
ADVANCED EVA R&D HARDWARE assembly. This HUT is currently in use in JSC's
Advanced Suit Laboratory.
Experimental space suit proto-types were designed From the beginning of the Shuttle program, Air-
and manufactured by Air-Lock for both the Johnson Space Lock's ideas have consistently contributed to the
Center and the Ames Research Center. In 1977, Air-Lock improvement of the hardware used on the Shuttle Suit
designed and manufactured a Bi-planar suit closure for the Assembly. These design improvements include the
Ames Research Center. Over that past twenty years, All of the Low Torque Lip Seals, the cast aluminum Shuttle HUT,
Hard Upper Torso (HUTs) suits made for NASA, including the Acme Threaded Sizing Elements, (used in the Arm
the Space Shuttle Suit, the ILC ZPS, ZPS Mark III, and the and LTA of the SSA), and the current In-suit Drink Bag
Ames AX5, have closure systems designed and manufactured Valve Assembly.
by Air-Lock. In 1987 the high costs associated with machining
a HUT from a solid aluminum billet and the long lead times In 1994 Air-Lock began a joint IR&D program
associated with the hand lay up of fiberglass epoxy HUT with Deposition Research Laboratory, Inc., to develop a
assemblies, prompted Air-Lock into using IR&D funds to environmentally robust Sun Visor coating which also
independently developed a Iow cost HUT by utilizing had exceptional optical/thermal properties. This coating
investment casting technology. This design was subsequently delivered to NASA and has
since flown on STS-76, 79, 86, 88, and 90. This coating
design has been certified for flight and replaced the
previous Sun Visor design in April 1999.

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