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Activities for the 2013 MDRS Crew for World Space Week (WSW) 2013 continued. Numerous telecons were held throughout the day in support of the WSW, and we initiated EVAs in the afternoon. Randy and Jon traveled ~10 km north of the Hab to Toothy Ridge, Jason’s Rock, and Giant’s Toes, and gathered multiple images of each for the change detection experiment. Hari and Jean also performed a Sand Sampling EVA as well. D-TREX EVAs were also performed by all crew members late in the afternoon, to gather more time data from tasks performed both in sim and out of sim [with suits on and without].
Early Science Results from D-TREX Studies
It is hypothesized that the space suit simulators at MDRS limit mobility, reduce dexterity, and increase the amount of time needed to perform tasks during EVAs in ways that are quite similar to actual space suits. A very preliminary, and coarse analysis of data gathered from our D-TREX study confirms this prediction. A statistical analysis of this data is yet to be completed.
During the experiment it was interesting to note that one operator was unable to complete the soil and rock sampling tasks with the gloves that were chosen for the EVA suit that was worn (this data was not used in the above calculations). This result is a good example of the importance of glove design, and how it affects development and testing of operational scenarios and the suit hardware itself. Results from the walking tasks reveal very small time differences between suited and unsuited operators in both distances tested, suggesting that the effect MDRS EVA suits have on gross motor skills is small.
A variety of factors such as operator experience and or physical size can influence why suited operators require more (or less) time to complete a task. We did not control for these effects. However, depending upon how it is filtered and reduced, our data set can be mined in many ways to see the effects MDRS EVA suits have on time required to complete four distinctly different tasks.
This article is available in: German
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