NASA & Contractors Developing New Astronaut Gloves

David Clark Company’s unique spacesuit pressure restraint. (Credit: David Clark Company)
David Clark Company’s unique spacesuit pressure restraint. (Credit: David Clark Company)

HOUSTON (NASA PR) — Over the summer of 2016, the Next Generation Life Support (NGLS) project received delivery from three industry partners of several new promising spacesuit technologies, namely for advancing glove designs and capabilities. Glove prototypes incorporating these technologies are now undergoing testing and performance evaluation under increased operating pressures and in the more challenging environments expected during future space exploration.

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SwRI Researchers Test Next-Gen Suborbital Spacesuits

Dr. Alan Stern performed 20 runs aboard a NASTAR STS-400 High Performance Human Centrifuge, with some runs reaching the 6-G accelerations that many suborbital launches will create. (Credit: Southwest Research Institute)

Worcester, Massachusetts — Nov. 16, 2011 — Two researchers set to fly aboard suborbital spacecraft as a part of Southwest Research Institute’s next-generation suborbital research program completed another milestone on November 2nd when they evaluated David Clark Company’s latest version of aerospace crew protective equipment designed for the commercial spaceflight industry. The two research scientists conducted evaluations of the Contingency Hypobaric Astronaut Protective Suit (CHAPS) during an intensive series of centrifuge runs designed to simulate the anticipated launch and entry profiles that will be experienced aboard suborbital spacecraft.

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USA, Moon Express and David Clark Company Join Commercial Spaceflight Federation

Washington, D.C., Thursday, September 22, 2011 – The Commercial Spaceflight Federation is pleased to announce that three companies providing services to the commercial spaceflight industry have joined the Federation as Associate Members: United Space Alliance, David Clark Company, and Moon Express.

John Gedmark, Executive Director of the Commercial Spaceflight Federation, stated, “We are excited to welcome these three new Associate Members to the Commercial Spaceflight Federation.  Each of these companies brings unique expertise and knowledge to advance commercial spaceflight.”
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Commercial Spacesuit Companies Compete for Market Share

The FAA’s 2011 U.S. Commercial Space Transportation Developments and Concepts: Vehicles, Technologies, and Spaceports report has a section that looks at commercial spacesuits being developed by American companies.

One of these companies, ILC Dover, has been building spacesuits for NASA for decades, producing the suits worn on the moon by Apollo astronauts and space shuttle astronauts. The David Clark Company has been around since 1941, producing pressure suits for Chuck Yeager, Gemini astronauts, and the space shuttle program. The third company, Orbital Outfitters, is a newcomer that is designing pressure suits for XCOR’s Lynx suborbital vehicle.

The relevant section from the report is reproduced after the break.

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