New spacesuit technology for lunar and Mars exploration was tested where astronaut Apollo once trained and tested spacesuits.

The NASA Haughton-Mars Project returns to Oregon’s Apollo-era training and spacesuit testing site. Left: Apollo astronaut Walter Cunningham in a spacesuit for analog research at the Big Obsidian lava flow in Oregon in September 1964. Right: Ashley Himmelmann, a spacesuit engineer in Collins Aerospace Spacesuit for analog research with integrated information technology and information subsystem (IT IS), the same location in August 2021. Credits: NASA Haughton-Mars Project / P. Lee

The NASA Haughton-Mars Project (HMP) and collaborative organizations SETI Institute, Mars Institute, Collins Aerospace, and Ntention are field testing new spacesuit technology for future astronaut science and exploration work on the Moon and Mars. Announcing the success of.

Field tests were conducted in the High Desert region of Oregon, the same location that Astronaut Apollo once used to train and test spacesuits in preparation for a historic journey to the Moon. Based on lessons from Apollo and recent robotic missions to the Moon and Mars, several new sites that may be relevant to future lunar and Mars exploration were also visited.

“It was exciting to be in Oregon in 1964 and 1966 to revisit some of the very places where NASA received geological field training and tested spacesuits,” said the SETI Association. And the director of the NASA Houghton Mars Project at the NASA Ames Research Center, Mars Institute. “We also identified new candidate sites for the Moon and Mars exploration preparations, which revealed more about the Moon and Mars compared to the mid-1960s.”

The sites visited by the NASA Haughton-Mars Project team included Oregon’s major Apollo legacy training sites and astronaut test sites. Lava Butte, Big Obsidian Lava Flow, Fort Rock, Hall in the Ground, Mackenzie Pass Yapoa Lava Flow. The lunar Antarctic highlands and lunar caves, and finally the new locations visited to explore Mars, have pumice slopes in Crater Lake National Park, Painted Hills in John Day Fossil Beds National Park, and multiple roofs. Fold the opening that contained the Skylight Cave, a lava tube. These sites were accessed with the support of the US Forest Department Deschutes National Forest and National Park Service.

New spacesuit technology for moon and Mars exploration tested in Oregon, where Apollo once trained and tested space

The NASA Haughton-Mars Project has conducted field tests of new technologies for the science and exploration of the human moon and Mars in Oregon. Shown here is Ashley Himmelmann, a spacesuit engineer in the Collins Aerospace Spacesuit for analog research that examines and documents rock samples through the Spacesuit’s Integrated Information Technology and Information Subsystem (IT IS). is. Test site: Lava Butte, Oregon. Credits: NASA Haughton-Mars Project / Pascal Lee

NASA’s current Artemis program aims to land the first woman and the next man on the Moon near the Moon’s Antarctica by the end of the last decade, and finally send humans to Mars based on this experience. It is said. Some that will help optimize the safety, productivity and cost effectiveness of future EVA (Extravehicular Activity) or space swimming in anticipation of future Moon and Mars astronaut science and exploration needs. New technology is being developed and tested.

Center of the week Field test It was Collins Aerospace’s innovative and integrated information technology and information subsystem (IT IS). Today, EVA astronauts rely on elbow-mounted spiral notebooks to flip through checklists. Collins IT IS allows astronauts to autonomously track these checklists and act on their health and EVA companion status (vital signs, exercise level). Display system In their helmet. You can also monitor the performance of various EVA systems, such as power, oxygen, and water storage, astronaut position, EVA elapsed time, EVA remaining time, and supply range. IT IS also displays maps and a variety of other data that support astronaut science and exploration activities, such as images, note-taking, and sample management.

Greg Quinn, leader in advanced spacesuit development at Collins Aerospace, said: “Collins ITIS helps to increase the autonomy, productivity and safety of future explorers.”

“Real-time mission support from Earth remains important, but NASA’s search for the lunar pole where Astronaut Artemis will land may not be able to communicate directly to Earth, even through orbital relays. That means there is a need to provide future moon explorers with a safer way to carry out more autonomous EVA, ”explains Lee. “For Mars, the need for autonomy is further complicated. On Mars, communication delays severely limit real-time mission support from Earth.”

New spacesuit technology for moon and Mars exploration tested in Oregon, where Apollo once trained and tested space

Left: The Moon’s Antarctic region, where Astronaut Artemis lands, shows terrain that is more difficult to roughen, tilt, and illuminate than the region explored by Astronaut Apollo. Right: Painted Hills, John Day Fossil Beds National Monument, offers barren terrain with different compositions and smaller scale, but with slopes, terrain textures, and surface material strength associated with what is expected in Antarctica on the Moon. To do. Credits: Left: NASA Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter-based visualization.Right: NASA Houghton-Mars Project-2021-Oregon / Pascal Lee

Field tests in Oregon began every morning at dawn to take advantage of grazing sun lighting in anticipation of the harsh lighting conditions in Antarctica on the Moon. The visited field sites provided a wide range of terrain roughness, slopes, terrain complexity, and operational scale expected during future EVAs in the Moon’s Antarctica region. EVA system requirements for future lunar hole and cave exploration were also investigated. This is the first time for a space suit manufacturer.

One of the key achievements of the field campaign was the successful integration of the Norwegian company Ntention’s innovative astronaut smart glove (ASG) system with Collins Aerospace’s ITIS. ASG is an advanced human-machine interface (HMI) integrated into spacesuit helmets and gloves. This allows astronauts to remotely control a variety of possible robot assets, including robotic arms, cranes, rover, and even drones. Hand gestures are minimal and compatible with wearing a shrinkable, hard, pressurized spacesuit. ASG field tests have shown successful collection of rock sample material from remote locations that are not directly accessible to astronauts.

“This year’s field tests will seamlessly integrate HMIs, such as the astronaut’s smart glove system, into spacesuits, significantly improving the perception, reach, and control of future astronauts on the Moon and Mars. I showed you how, “says Coina Tamuly. -Ntention CEO and co-founder.

“By coming to Oregon, we will not only regain Apollo’s historic heritage, but also for training future astronauts and testing spacesuits as we tackle the new challenges of this century, the Moon and Mars. I wanted to scout for a new experience, “Lee said. “I’m excited to report that I had a glimpse of this exciting future this week.”

Astronaut’s smart glove for exploring the moon, Mars, etc.

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