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Mitigation of EMU Cut Glove Hazard from Micrometeoroid and Orbital Debris Impacts on ISS Handrails

Ryan, Shannon 1, Christiansen, Eric L. 1, Davis, Bruce A. 1, Ordonez, Erick1
Affiliation data not available1

Document details

Publishing year2009 PublisherESA Publishing typeConference Name of conference5th European Conference on Space Debris
Pagesn/a Volume
H. Lacoste


Recent cut damages sustained on crewmember gloves during extravehicular activity (ISS) onboard the International Space Station (ISS) have been caused by contact with sharp edges or a pinch point according to analysis of the damages. One potential source are protruding sharp edged crater lips from micrometeoroid and orbital debris (MMOD) impacts on metallic handrails along EVA translation paths. A number of hypervelocity impact tests were performed on ISS handrails, and found that mm-sized projectiles were capable of inducing crater lip heights two orders of magnitude above the minimum value for glove abrasion concerns. Two techniques were evaluated for mitigating the cut glove hazard of MMOD impacts on ISS handrails: flexible overwraps which act to limit contact between crewmember gloves and impact sites, and; alternate materials which form less hazardous impact crater profiles. In parallel with redesign efforts to increase the cut resilience of EMU gloves, the modifications to ISS handrails evaluated in this study provide the means to significantly reduce cut glove risk from MMOD impact craters.