Four men who lived for one week in the entry lock to an altitude chamber at Lockheed Missiles & Space Company have given scientists a better under-standing of how man can live and work in space.
Four men who lived for one week in the entry lock to an altitude chamber at Lockheed Missiles & Space Company have given scientists a better under-standing of how man can live and work in space. The atmosphere the men breathed and the water they drank was reclaimed from their body wastes by a Lockheed designed life support system.
When the men were not performing tasks for the scientists they amased themselves in the tiny chamber with cards and by watching TV through a port hole. Their living quarters were only ten feet high, ten wide, and ten deep.
The subjects were observed by experimentors and flight surgeons twenty four hours a day.
On the fourth day of the study, one man entered the altitude chamber in a Litten Mark Two hard suit to perform routine maintenance tasks.
The chamber was pumped to a simulated altitude of 100,000 feet, and the subject wore a harness which supported eighty three percent of his weight so that he moved as if he were in the weak lunar gravity. All the tasks performed by the men were time, and these times were compared with times required to do the same tasks in normal earth gravity and in sea level atmospheric pressure. The differences between the times help scientists measure how much more difficult it is for astronauts to work in space and on the moon.
The reduced gravity harness and a model of the rough lunar surface also gave an indication of problems astronauts will face in walking on the moon.
The subject worked next on the local Scientific Survey Module, a moon vehicle being designed by Bendix and Lockheed to carry astronauts and their equipment on the lunar surface. The combination, in one study, of the lunar vehicle, a lunar surface, reduced gravity, reduced atmospheric pressure, and an advanced space suit, gave more complete data than previously attainable in such tests.
While a man worked in the chamber, flight surgeons and their equipment kept watch over his body's reactions.
Traces of the subject's heart and respiration rates were checked on a TV screen and automatically recorded on paper rolls.
The constant watch was particularly important when the subject moved onto the treadmill for thirty-minute walks.
When the treadmill was speeded up to nearly four miles per hour, the heart and respiration rates increased as well, but the subjects reported that their treadmill strolls in a heavy space suit were definitely easier in the moons one sixth gravity, even though on all other tasks they found work harder in reduced pressure and reduced gravity.