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A Technique to Investigate Space Maintenance Tasks

Report Number: AMRL TR 66-32
Author: Seeman, Jerome S.
Author: Smith, Francis H.
Author: Mueller, Donald D.
Corporate Author: George C. Marshall Space Flight Center
Laboratory: Aerospace Medical Research Laboratories
Date of Publication: 1966-04
Pages: 18
Contract: NASA PR T-18811-G
Project: 7184
Task: 718405
AD Number: AD0639059

A series of preliminary studies was performed to determine if a high-fidelity ground-based simulation of zero gravity is necessary to obtain valid information about zero-G maintenance performance. Removal and replacement of a prestart solenoid valve on a rocket engine was selected as the basic maintenance task to be studied. Time scores for laboratory performance of the task were compared with scores obtained from subjects operating on the task during periods of transient weightlessness in a KC-135 aircraft. Modified hand tools, a tool box, and a worker tethering system were developed for use in the experiment. Major conclusions were (1) the factor contributing most to performance decrement in space maintenance was space suit pressurization level; (2) in this study, the effect of weightlessness on performance was less than the effect of suit pressure level, and, in this instance, it would not have been necessary to introduce zero-G conditions to conduct a meaningful study of space maintenance performance.

RAF Centre of Aviation Medicine
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