Egress Locomotion

Online.Egress Locomotion

Published on Monday, July 8, 1996 by Gideon Ariel

National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Groud-based & Small Payloads Research
In Space Life Sciences

THE INTERACTION OF THE SPACE SHUTTLE LAUNCH AND ENTRY SUIT AND SUSTAINED WEIGHTLESSNESS ON EGRESS LOCOMOTION

Principal Investigator

Michael C. Greenisen, Ph.D.
SD5/Space Biomedical Research Institute
NASA Johnson Space Center
Houston, TX 77058

Co-Investigators:

Gideon B. Ariel, Ph.D.
Visiting Scientist
Universities Space Research Association

John D. Probe, M.E.
Visiting Research Engineer
Universities Space Research Association

Suzanne M. Fortney, Ph.D.
SD5/Space Biomedical Research Institute
NASA Johnson Space Center
Houston, Texas 77058

Mark S. Sothmann, Ph.D.
Department of Human Kinetics
School of Allied Health Professions
University of Wisconsin
Milwaukee, WI 53201

 

Authorizing Institute Official:

Donald E. Robbins, Ph.D. [date]
Acting Director
Space and Life Sciences

ABSTRACT

The physical ability of astronaut crews, after space flight, to successfully egress (walk/run) away from the vehicle in an emergency situation is unknown.

The purpose of this study is to determine the consequences of extended periods of weightlessness during space missions on astronauts’ abilities and characteristics of locomotion while wearing the Space Shuttle Launch and Entry Suit (LES).(B) N/A(C) First year of this study provides 7 flight opportunities including two 16-day missions. The study will initiate on or about December 01,1994, 45 days before launch of STi67, a 16-day mission.

This study requires astronauts to walk with a velocity of 5.6 km/h (3.5 mph) for 5 minutes on a motorized treadmill in two phases: Phase 1) Forty five days (L-45) before flight astronauts will be tested in three conditions: (a) unsuited, wearing workout attire and flight boots, (b) suited, wearing the complete LES ensemble with visor open breathing ambient air, and c) wearing the LES with the visor down breathing from the SCBA (self contained breathing apparatus). Each astronaut will walk with a velocity of 5.6 km/h (3.5 mph) for 5 minutes, 466 m (1531 ft) on a motorized treadmill. During the treadmill locomotion test, two camera video recordings, oxygen consumption, and physiological measures will be accomplished.

Phase 2) The treadmill will be placed in and secured to the floor of the Crew Transportation Vehicle (CTV) which picks up the astronauts after landing. CTV data will be limited to the LES suited condition, visor down breathing from the SCBA, taken while the CTV remains motionless. Video, oxygen uptake and physiotogical data will be collected using methods comparable to those for preflight testing. Data from this study will contribute to a countermeasure which enhances successful astronaut egress locomotion.

Project Summary

The ability of astronauts to egress the Shuttle, particularly during emergency conditions, is likely to be reduced following physiological adaptations in space. The escape locomotion phase of egress where crewmembers will be required to walk/run away from the vehicle wearing the cumbersome 35.4 kg (78 lbs.) space flight launch and entry suit (LES) is an untested area of Space Shuttle operations.

The purpose of this study is to determine the consequences of extended periods of weightlessness during space missions on astronauts’ abilities and characteristics of locomotion while wearing the LES. Thirty astronauts (both females and males) will be requested to participate in this study. This study requires astronauts to walk with a velocity of 5.6 km/h (3.5 mph) for 5 minutes on a motorized treadmill in two phases:

1) preflight in the Exercise Physiology Laboratory at the Johnson Space Center, and 2) postflight onboard the Crew Transportation Vehicle (CTV) as it retrieves each returning space flight crew after landing/wheel stop. Phase 1) Forty five days (L-45) before flight astronauts will be tested in three conditions: (a) unsuited, wearing workout attire and flight boots, (b) suited, wearing the complete LES ensemble with visor open breathing ambient air, and c) wearing the LES with the visor down breathing from the SCBA (self contained breathing apparatus). Each astronaut will walk with a velocity of 5.6 km/h (3.5 mph) for 5 minutes, 466 meters (1531 ft) on a motorized treadmill. During the treadmill locomotion test, two camera video recordings, oxygen consumption and physiological measures will be accomplished.

Phase 2) The treadmill will be placed in and secured to the floor of the CTV which picks up the astronauts after landing. CTV data will be limited to the LES suited condition, visor down breathing from the SCBA, taken while the CTV remains motionless. Video, oxygen uptake, and physiological data will be collected using methods comparable to those for preflight testing.

Video Motion Data Analysis

The video tapes from each subject will be processed by an Ariel Performance Analysis System. Using computer assisted screen displays, the video tape is digitized frame-by-frame to provide three dimensional movement data. This system uses mathematical equations to transform input data to velocity of movements, center of gravity displacements, acceleration of body limbs, and forces (Abdel-Aziz, Karara, 1971, Zernicke, 1976, and Shapiro, 1978).

This data may be printed out and is available for on screen viewing. This video motion analysis technique will determine any deviation in gait during treadmill locomotion after landing compared to preflight gait (Figures 8 and 9). Analysis of variance will be applied to the changes in mechanical performance to determine any significant differences (p

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