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Forum:Exploration: Asteroids, Moon and Mars
Topic:Spacesuit design and testing for Orion missions
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"The shell of them is very much the same, and to the casual user you may not even notice the difference, but internally we modified them to work with the plumbing inside Orion," said Dustin Gohmert, Crew Survival Systems Manager at Johnson.

Through a series of tests in the NBL, engineers are learning what features need to be included to improve the suit's mobility beyond the needs of the trip from the launch pad to space and its return to Earth, such as enhanced gloves and elbow joints with improved mobility for spacewalks.

The ACES pumpkin suit was worn by space shuttle crews beginning in 1994 and builds on the earliest spacesuit worn by Ed White during the first venture outside a spacecraft in 1965.

"We're stepping back to our heritage to be able to use one suit for multiple tasks," said Gohmert.

NASA is looking at a broad range of ideas and techniques as the agency further refines its mission design for the agency's asteroid initiative, an effort that combines human exploration, space technology and science work being done across the agency to find and redirect and asteroid to a stable orbit near the moon for exploration by astronauts.

The NBL tests are helping with the evaluation of options for spacewalking techniques like how best to get out of Orion and traverse the spacecraft toward the captured asteroid. NASA is making use of previous experience and proving designs to accelerate development, ensure crew safety and increase reliability.

Robert PearlmanNASA video release
Astronauts Test Spacesuits for Orion

NASA Public Affairs Officer Dan Huot talks with NASA astronaut Rex Walheim about the development and testing of spacesuits for Orion.

Based on the familiar orange Advanced Crew Escape Suit (ACES) worn by space shuttle crews during launch and entry, MACES (Modified ACES) can add the capability to perform a spacewalk with the same suit without the need to fly a second, dedicated spacesuit for that purpose.

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