How to Design a Space Suit

Wiley Post in one of the first space/pressure suits, and NASA's current space suit.

The whole idea of a space suit is to be able to manuver and work on the surface of a planetiod or on a run down hunk-o'-space-junk. The goal is to design a pressurized suit with good enough mobility for an astronaut to work for eight hours without getting exhausted moving his arm and be able to handle any unexpected situation. Here's a brief look at the math and science of pressurized suits.

Mark III Advanced Space Suit
Mark III Suit

ILC Dover Advanced Space Suit
ILC Suit

David Clark Advanced Space Suit
David Clark (S1035X) Suit

Then Mark III is the current favorite suit of NASA's Advanced department. It uses effective bearing joints for the best manuverability.

The ILC suit attempts to minimize wiegth by replacing many smaller bearing joints with soft fabric joints. This wiegth savings allows for longer explorations on a planet's surface.

The David Clark suit attempts to maximize wiegth savings with intricately designed soft fabric joints nearly everywhere in the suit. It even replaces the Hard Upper Torso (HUT) with a fabric torso.

Mobility, Mobility, Mobility

This is a proof-of-concept test report that I did while working in the EVA & IVA Equipment Branch during the summer of 2000. It looks at all the myriad factors of mobility and methods to reduce joint load in space suit. Not the most offical report, but interesting.

Space Development Web Ring
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NASA does NOT sponser or endorse this site and its views are not necessary presented here. Much of the detailed space suit information presented here I gathered directly from offical NASA sites with the understanding that it abides with NASA Guidelines for the use or reproduction of NASA Materials, if you know of any violation, please inform me of it.