Aerosp Med Hum Perform. 2019 Jun 1;90(6):553-565. doi: 10.3357/AMHP.5221.2019.


INTRODUCTION: Although a space suit is a technological feat sustaining human life outside the spacecraft, working in the space suit environment can lead to musculotendon and soft tissue injuries in astronauts. In this literature review, we consider the injury risk mechanisms for human-space suit interactions. We first present a review of space suit injury risk founded in empirical, statistical, and experimental studies. We then review efforts in computational modeling of a human and space suit. As the interpretation of models for injury risk has not previously been defined, a review is presented of biomechanical considerations of injury risk to the tissue and joints based on previously observed space suit injuries. A review of risk assessment in occupational health in the workplace is then presented, an adjacent area that informs relevant measures of consideration for human-space suit applications. Finally, we discuss how the work-to-date can inform continued efforts in minimizing risk of musculoskeletal injury to the human when using a space suit. From the literature, this review concludes space suits cause biomechanical alterations, inducing musculoskeletal injury. Combining occupational health kinematic constraints with computational models could enable a trade space evaluation on space suited biomechanics to reduce risk mechanisms. Future work, though, is required to enable computational models to be predictive of individual injury risk. Our findings show there are significant gaps in our current knowledge on tissue injuries that preclude biomechanical models from being used directly as an injury risk assessment model. This review identifies how risk factor monitoring and modeling will enable improved space suit design and evaluation.Stirling L, Arezes P, Anderson A. Implications of space suit injury risk for developing computational performance models. Aerosp Med Hum Perform. 2019; 90(6):553-565.

PMID:31101141 | DOI:10.3357/AMHP.5221.2019