Lunar Surface suit to dos <-- We are creating a to do list for the suits. Add your items to here.
Ideas For Consideration <-- This is for those wild ideas.
1/3/09 On first hearing this it seems insane, but consider: The human body requires pressure and oxygen. Oxygen must be supplied to the lungs at a specific pressure to sustain lung inflation and gas transfer. However, the REST of the human body is quite tolerant of very low pressure exposure for brief intervals. I'm suggesting a means where crew members can literally change out of contaminated suits into new suits even under lunar vacuum conditions. Maximum vac exposure for any specific part of the body would be a very few seconds. This can be safely tolerated provided it is properly facilitated. What this means is you have an unpressurized changing station that stores modular suit components at the ready. The astronaut would be positioned so that each component could be removed in sequence and changed out in mere seconds. Since the helmet would be the only component that is not 'skin tight', it remains. The contaminated elements are cleaned and recharged for the next change. Of course, this is only part of the problem. Clean suit components will help to maintain comfort and morale, but what about the astronaut himself? After about 36 hours a human being has perspired and emanated so much accumulation of skin cells, body oils, salts, microbial growth and urea-containing acids that he will begin to experience a mild allergic reaction. That is why we itch when we haven't showered. After four days, even the most enduring individual would be overwhelmed by the itching. Solution? A pressurized module about the size of an air lock allowing each astronaut to clean himself periodically. Ideally he would also clean his suit. Such a unit would be the size of a phone booth and could be designed to accommodate 'relief' measures of all types.
7/22/2010- Some issues that seem small to us on Earth can become a big deal in space. An example of which would be scratching your nose. This may seem quite insignificant, until you have a large glass (or similar substance) plate between you and your finger. The solution that NASA uses right now for this problem is: "Deal with it, you'll only be in the suit for a couple of hours." However, if we intend to pack a person into a suit for several days, as is the current plan for our spacecraft, this could become a show-stopper, depending on how bad the itch is. This can easily be solved by placing the "loop" side of a hook and loop (i.e. Velcro) fastener inside the helmet, on which one can easily scratch any part of the head. The loop end would be used instead of the hook end because, while still being "scratchy," it is softer so it won't cause damage to the skin while providing relief. This would only be necessary if the crew member is not planning on taking the suit off for a long period of time.