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At the University of Maryland’s Space Systems Laboratory, the Neutral Buoyancy Research Facility (NBRF) provides a unique alternative to testing at the NASA Johnson NBL. EVA simulation research at the NBRF is currently conducted using teams of scuba divers. A combination of the neutral buoyancy environment, high fidelity hardware mockups, and realistic communication systems can make these simulations very accurate in many respects except for one main area – the replication of the space suit restrictions and limitations.

The inability to dive without the simulation of a pressure suit has been identified as an undesirable condition at neutral buoyancy facilities worldwide. Perhaps the most significant attempt to fill this void is the European wet suit prototype designed and manufactured to provide a low cost, moderate-fidelity, emulation of the Russian Orlan suit for neutral buoyancy EVA simulation.

The MX-series takes a step farther to not only replicate the most critical pressure suit characteristics, but to provide a suit that also presents a low cost, versatile test bed for neutral buoyancy EVA research.

Questions? Comments? Contact Shane Jacobs