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Acta Astronaut. 1994 Jan;32(1):39-49.

As assessment of habitat pressure, oxygen fraction, and EVA suit design for space operations.

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Aerospace Engineering Department, University of Colorado at Boulder, 80309-0429, USA.


At high cabin pressure [e.g. 1013 hPa (14.7 psi) 21% O2] there are serious issues relative to specification of suit pressure and the need for prebreathing. A high pressure suit will be costly but use of the existing, flexible suit requires up to 6 h of prebreathing. Or one could use a cabin pressure of 700 hPa (10.2 psi) prior to extravehicular activity (EVA) in order to use the existing suit with only 1 h of prebreathing. If these normal cabin pressures and O2 levels are utilized, existing physiological and medical databases apply, providing a known basis for evaluating effects of long duration space missions. If a 345 hPa (5 psi), 70-100% O2 atmosphere is adopted the existing suit can be used with no prebreathing required. However, there is no reference database on physiological effects under the conditions of lower pressure and higher O2 concentration. This paper considers the major issues involved in defining habitat pressure, O2 fraction, and EVA suit design for operations in space. A preliminary model for evaluating habitat/suit pressure and O2% strategies is presented.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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