History of Underwater Simulation of Weightlessness for Extravehicular Activity (EVA) Training, Part 2

Discipline: Environmental Control/Life Support
The technique of neutral buoyancy during water immersion was applied to a variety of questions pertaining to human performance factors in the early years of the space age. It was independently initiated by numerous aerospace contractors at nearly the same time, but specific applications depended on the problems that the developers were trying to solve. Those problems dealt primarily with human restraint and maneuverability and were often generic across extravehicular activity (EVA) and intravehicular activity (IVA) worksites. The same groups often also considered fractional gravity as well as weightless settings and experimented with ballasting to achieve lunar and Mars-equivalent loads as part of their on-going research and development. Dr. John Charles reviewed the association of those tasks with contemporary perceptions of the direction of NASA’s future space exploration activities and with Air Force assessments of the military value of man in space.

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