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Metabolic Assessment of Suited Mobility Using Functional Tasks (Suited_Mobility)
Principal Investigator
Research Area:
Biomedical countermeasures
Extravehicular Activity (EVA)
Species Studied
Scientific Name: Homo sapiens Species: Human

Existing methods for evaluating extravehicular activity (EVA) suit mobility and verifying requirements have typically relied on measurement techniques such as motion capture and joint torque measurements looking at several isolated joint range of motions. These methods are straightforward and can be clearly defined, but they have little to do with how well a crewmember can actually perform in an EVA suit. EVA tasks often rely on the movement of several joints concurrently to complete the task. This study evaluated alternate methods of evaluating suited mobility through measurement of metabolic rate and time to completion of functional tasks.

This study had the following specific aims:

  1. Determine the feasibility of assessing suited mobility requirements using functional tasks.
  2. Determine a task battery and effective execution methods of the selected tasks.
  3. Determine the metabolic variability in repeated measures for the same task in the same suit by the same subject.
  4. Determine the metabolic variability for the same task in the same suit by different subjects.

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Norcross, JR, McFarland, SM, and Ploutz-Snyder R. Metabolic Assessment of Suited Mobility Using Functional Tasks. ACSM Annual Scientific Meeting; May 31 – June 4 2016; Boston, MA; United States. NASA Technical Report, conference paper. 20150020964. [NTRS]

McFarland, SM and Norcross, JR. Development of an Objective Space Suit Mobility Performance Metric Using Metabolic Cost and Functional Tasks. 46th International Conference on Environmental Systems, July 10-14 2016. Vienna, Austria. NASA Technical Report, conference paper. 20160005024. [NTRS]

Extravehicular activity
Task performance analysis
Technology assessment

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Data Information
Data Availability
Archiving in Progress. Some restricted access data exist for this experiment.
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Carbon dioxide (CO2)
Heart rate (HR)
Maximal oxygen consumption (VO2 max)
Metabolic cost of functional tasks
Metabolic rate, suited
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Mission/Study Information
Mission Launch/Start Date Landing/End Date Duration
Ground 05/01/2009 In Progress

Human Research Program (HRP) Human Research Roadmap (HRR) Information
Crew health and performance is critical to successful human exploration beyond low Earth orbit. The Human Research Program (HRP) investigates and mitigates the highest risks to human health and performance, providing essential countermeasures and technologies for human space exploration. Risks include physiological and performance effects from hazards such as radiation, altered gravity, and hostile environments, as well as unique challenges in medical support, human factors, and behavioral health support. The HRP utilizes an Integrated Research Plan (IRP) to identify the approach and research activities planned to address these risks, which are assigned to specific Elements within the program. The Human Research Roadmap is the web-based tool for communicating the IRP content.

The Human Research Roadmap is located at:

+ Click here for information of how this experiment is contributing to the HRP's path for risk reduction.

Additional Information
Managing NASA Center
Johnson Space Center (JSC)
Responsible NASA Representative
Johnson Space Center LSDA Office
Project Manager: Eric Gallagher
Institutional Support
National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)
Alternate Experiment Name
Energy Mobility
Proposal Date
Proposal Source
2013 HERO NNJ13ZSA002N-Crew Health OMNIBUS