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- Rescue of the astronaut flight crew from a contingency landing may risk exposure of the rescue crew to toxic propellants spilling from potentially ruptured tanks in the crew module area. An Aquala dry diver's suit has been in service by the rescue team to preclude exposure, especially in the water rescue scenario. Heat stress has become a factor of concern in recent years when older and less physically-fit team members work in this suit. Methods: Field testing was initiated using fully instrumented rescue men in a simulated scenario to determine the extent of heat stress. Two tests were accomplished, one in the normal (N) configuration and one with a proposed cooling countermeasure, the Steele vest (S). Results: Heat stress was high as indicated by average rectal temperatures (Tre) of 38.28 degrees C(100.9 degrees F) after the 45 minute protocol. Slopes of the regression equations describing the increase in Tre with time were greater (P less than 0.05) with N (0.073 plus or minus .008) compared to S (0.060 plus or minus .007). Projection of time to the 38.89 degree C (102 degree F) limit was increased by 15.3 percent with the vest. Mean skin temperature (Tsk) was higher (P less than 0.05) in N (38.33 plus or minus .11 degrees C) compared to S (34.33 plus or minus .39 degrees C). Average heart rate was higher (P less than 0.05 in N than S. Sweat loss, as measured by weight loss, was more (P less than 0.05) for N (1.09 plus or minus .09 kg versus 0.77 plus or minus .06 kg). Air usage, while slightly less for S, was not statistically different. Conclusion: The use of the cool vest provided significant relief from thermal stress in spite of the addition of 3.4 kg (7.5 pounds) weight and some loss in mobility.
- NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS) Collection.
- Document ID: 19950010331.
Accession ID: 95N16746.
Aerospace Medical Association, Aerospace Medical Association 63rd Annual Scientific Meeting Program; 1 p.
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