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Study of the Mechanics of the Spacesuit Gloves

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Human safety and ergonomics are the key aspects for engineers working on the design of flight suits. The most important is the prevention of skin damage, the protection of the entire human body, especially from an aggressive environment, and the provision of comfort comparable to everyday clothes. The study is conducted by the Moscow Aviation Institute (National Research University) and is aimed to identify the main problems of modern design of flight suits, which can then be compared and applied to spacesuits. Different spacesuits have been analyzed to prove an importance of high flexibility of the spacesuit’s elements. Pre- and postflight tests stressed high risk of human body injuries in more flexible places comparing to solid ones. At the same time, the bending elements of the suit play crucial role in the operational performance. Based on these overviews a specific glove for spacesuits has been selected and analyzed in details, as an example of the most flexible and important part of the flight kit. This study is aimed to find the most effective way to allow flexibility of the elements of the glove and, as a result, to improve safety and ergonomic markers of the whole spacesuit. For this reason, a mathematical model of human performance (in different operations as bending, holding etc.) has been created and a comparative analysis of joints has been made based on quantitative data on the number of elements, including adhesion, tightening, etc. The experiments have been carried out using tests with a probability level of 0.05. As a result, this article discusses methodological recommendations and safety requirements as well as ways to improve modern gloves. It can potentially affect the direction of its further development identifying a general approach to the flight suit design. This paper also gives an overview of potential spin-off of selected technology.
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EVA; Flight Suit; Flexibility; Pressurized Module; Spacesuit; Spaceflight; Spacesuit Glove; Human Performance; Joint Element

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