EVA Suit

From OCE Space Simulation
Jump to: navigation, search
Ken Lindsay demonstrates the old suit and new helmet in 2006-07
Stefan De Young demonstrates the space activity suit's "corset" in 2006-07.
EVA suits are items of clothing worn by astronauts in hazardous environments, most notably the hard vacuum of outer space. There are many different varieties of EVA suits, and Spacesim possesses two different types of suit: full-body suits (similar to the Advanced Crew Escape Suit) and skin-tight space activity suits.

Full-body suits

Spacesim originally conducted missions with only three of these suits, leaving those astronauts without suits to cower in safe modules during emergencies. These suits have several layers of fabric, which insulate and protect the astronaut, and Velcro cuffs that help keep air in. Each suit is associated with a plastic bubble helmet. These suits, in particular one made with several layers of plastic, are known to get very hot very fast when an astronaut is wearing it. As a result, the plastic suit have been affectionally named the "hot suit" during mission Red Dawn; recent efforts to reform the EVA suit system are also a response to this problem.

Space Activity Suits

In response to criticisms that the older suits were too restrictive, hot, and generally showing their age, Commander De Young pushed for, and got to develop a new generation replacement, termed Space Activity Suits. These suits consist of a central 'corset' and elasticized fabric for the limbs, simulated by tights or long underwear. These apply mechanical pressure to the skin to prevent bruising in a vacuum. They are designed to be worn under a flight suit. These were intended as full replacements of the EVA suits, however, during their first mission in use, the corsets partially deteriorated due to hasty construction leading up to the mission, and the less than gentle environment on board the Habitat. The tights segment of the activity suits were never enforced beyond the first EVA, due to the discomfort and "un-manly-ness" associated with wearing a tight/underwear. Also, due to the easy and unencumbered nature of the "corset", astronauts, like pilot Scothorn and co-pilot Xing, were able to wear the activity suit full time while having helmets and gloves placed on top of the computer at which they were working, thus mentally eliminating the danger of beta death. Due to these complaints, the role of the space activity suits were redefined for mission Red Dawn; now they function as Emergency Pressure Suits. These suits offer less protection against other hazards, as compared to the "old" EVA suits, which have been pressed back into service. Their uses are restricted to inside the Habitat, during liftoff/landing, imminent astroid impact, and IVAs (except in emergency circumstances, such as the sand/lightning storm during mission Red Dawn.)

Helmet Upgrade

During the construction of the Space Activity Suits, a new series of helmets were made to be used in conjunction. These helmets were better-equipped than the older ones, larger, and included a fan to prevent fogging. This fan is much appreciated by the astronauts, for fogging often rendered the older helmets unusable after as few as ten minutes. After the Space Activity Suits have been downgraded, the helmets remainded in their role as replacements for the "fish bowels".