Suit Ports

LER Suit Port

The Lunar Electric Rover (LER) is equipped with a time and space saving concept called suit ports.  The suit ports are located on the aft bulkhead of the LER, and are designed to allow astronauts to quickly go from driving in a shirtsleeve environment to Extravehicular Activity (EVA) in their space suits.  The suit port will allow the crew to enter and exit their EVA suits via a rear-entry hatch, while never having to bring the suit inside, keeping the internal cabin mostly free of dust.  The suit port will also minimize the loss of consumables when it is depressurized for EVA, extending duration of an LER sortie.  The crew uses alignment guides for docking to the suit port, and electromechanical mechanisms to lock and unlock the suit in place and also to open and close hatches.  This is an upgrade from last year’s suit port concept that used all mechanically-actuated mechanisms with levers that the crew had to move.  This suit port concept also includes an environmental shelter for the suits that will protect them from dust, thermal extremes, and micrometeoroid protection.

13 thoughts on “Suit Ports”

  1. I have to tell you, that is a cool design! moon here we come!
    great work NASA, you make us all proud. 🙂

  2. Would the vehicle carry a conventional airlock as well? If any urgent issue develops with during EVA – a suit tear, a fall that damages or contaminates the seal on the suit’s port, a medical issue – it seems desirable to dive into a chamber that can pressurize quickly, rather than fiddling with docking alignment. For day-to-day operations, though, this suit port concept makes so much sense for reducing wasted gases, and it does sound like an ideal solution for reducing dust in the cabin.

    …as if you needed the praise from some Canadian couch potato. 😉

  3. Thanks for the comments. The current concept vehicle does not have an airlock. The suit port concept allows a crewmember to go EVA in 10-15 minutes, and to go from EVA to re-entering the cabin in 5-10 minutes. If the suit is damaged before the crew goes EVA, the seal on the suit port allows the cabin to maintain pressure, and the damaged suit is brought in by the other EVA crewmember through a transfer device that attaches to the suit port. If the suit is damaged during EVA, the crewmember can either use the suit port or enter the rover through one of the side hatches. If the suit port is damaged, then both crewmembers could use the other good suit port or either of the two side hatches. There are several levels of redundancy for this concept, which are being evaluated.

  4. Does this mean the rover environment will be held at 4.7lb? And if so what are the effects of this long term on the Astronauts?

  5. On the moon, the rover would be at 8 psid and the space suits would operate at around 4.3 psid during EVA.

  6. It looks like the bio suits from the movie Andromeda Strain. In that movie the main character climbs into the suit through a hatch in the side of the room. Those suits, however, were connected via a large umbilical in the back. Cool concept and cool implementation here! Keep up the good work!

  7. Doesn’t either the shuttle or ISS or both operate at around 8psid and the current EVA suits of one or both, I can’t remember, operate at 4.3psid requiring a pre-breathing exercise and or camping out to combat the bends. If the LER uses a life support similar to that of the shuttle or ISS at 8psid wouldn’t they have to do this pre-breathe here also. Or once in the LER they are breathing pure oxygen and it doesn’t matter at that point?

  8. I LOVED the video on youtube — especially the end where the camera zoomed in on the moon in the bright sky! GREAT JOB, Desert RATS, and GO NASA!

  9. Great job, Desert RATS! I also LOVE the latest video on YouTube — especially at the end when the camera zooms in on the moon in the bright sky, while y’all are performing tests! GO NASA!!!!!!!

  10. I find this vehicule fantastic, because in a very squeezed place it answers a lot of questions and resolves a lot of problems, and in so elegant a way. And i am eager to see it at work on the moon along with all the other material of the lunar outpost.
    But there is still something that’s on my mind: the cockpit is covered with vast plexyglass windows. It’s really nice to have such a view through it. But with all that sticky regolith which will flow from the wheels (remember Apollo), i think they will be covered in a relatively short time by black dust. And it’s said so abrasive that even if astronauts in EVA whipe it, the glass will be so scratched that they will no longer see well through?
    As i think the NASA engineers thought that long ago, too. I’m eager to know what are the solutions prepared for that. Thank you

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