Extravehicular Activity (EVA) Spacesuits
ILC Dover is the world's leader in Extravehicular Activity (EVA) spacesuits. We are the original designer and manufacturer of the NASA's current Space Station EVA Suit Assembly, Mark III, Waist and Rear Entry I-Suits and the Z-1 spacesuits. Our team will utilize existing designs from these spacesuits as well as infuse new technologies where applicable to ensure the Z-2 is the most advanced EVA spacesuit ever developed. ILC Dover plans to deliver the Z-2 advanced prototype spacesuit to NASA with a technology readiness level of 7.
ILC's local Houston design team will collaborate directly with NASA Suit and LSS engineers to provide a suit system that not only meets NASA's current requirements, but also takes into consideration evolving requirements from NASA's internal life support system development. ILC Dover's local Houston team will manage the project and lead all design and systems engineering activities. Our proven record of EVA suit development is shown in the figure below.
Our baseline architecture includes both NASA prescribed and ILC Dover defined elements. NASA prescribed a rear entry hard upper torso with 13" hemispherical helmet as well as a hard brief element. NASA also requires ILC to design the Z-2 such that it will interface with a removable suit port interface plate. This is the solid blue component shown on the back of the Z-2 illustration above. ILC Dover plans to incorporate a 2 bearing rolling convolute shoulder similar to what we produced for the Mark III spacesuit but with improvements in the areas of materials and manufacturability. We plan to keep our proven lower arm and leg mobility joint designs refined over many years of EVA suit development. Although glove development is not part of the Z-2 contract, the suit will be designed to interface with the Phase VI EVA gloves ILC Dover currently produces for the Space Station EMU suit. The Z-2 will include a rolling convolute waist mobility joint and 3 bearing hip/thigh joint similar to the current Mark III spacesuit. The boots will be of a design similar to that developed for the Z-1 spacesuit but with further enhancements for foot indexing as well as thermal control.
Our approach supports NASA in meeting its overall spacesuit Design, Development, Test and Evaluation timeline including a future ISS Advanced Spacesuit Detailed Test Objective.