CO2 Washout Testing of NASA Spacesuits

Discipline: Environmental Control/Life Support

During the presentation “CO2 Washout Testing of NASA Spacesuits,” Jason Norcross discussed the results of recent carbon dioxide CO2 washout testing of NASA spacesuits including the Rear Entry I-suit (REI), Enhanced Mobility Advanced Crew Escape Suit (EM-ACES), and possibly the ACES and Z-1 EVA prototype. When a spacesuit is used during ground testing, adequate CO2 washout must be provided for the suited subject. Symptoms of acute CO2 exposure depend on the partial pressure of CO2 (ppCO2) available to enter the lungs during respiration. The primary factors during ground-based testing that influence the ppCO2 level in the oronasal area include the metabolic rate of the subject and air flow through the suit. These tests were done to characterize inspired oronasal ppCO2 for a range of workloads and flow rates for which ground testing is nominally performed. During this presentation, Norcross provided descriptions of the spacesuits, test hardware, methodology, and results, as well as implications for future ground testing and verification of flight requirements.

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