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Fuzz Gloves for Astronauts

Make fuzzy gloves for astronauts, then put Velcro everywhere
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Up there in the International Space Station (and later, when we build a *real* space station), astronauts are flying around with reckless abandon, careening into each other, bumping experiments, accidently hitting buttons, and generally making a nuisance of themselves -- and that's only on the inside.

Now, they could wear magnetic shoes, but then we'd have to lift up a chunk of iron the size of the Titanic into orbit to use them, and God help them if they used them around CRT's or magnetic storage media. Or they could use Velcro footwear, but shoes are not nearly as dextrous as gloves, and they might kick something they shouldn't.

The answer is to make fuzzy Velcro gloves. For inside the ISS, make them without fingers (like gloves used in weight training) so they can still do things like push buttons, flip switches, and toggle...er, toggles. For outside the ISS they could make the palm of the spacesuit gloves out of Velcro so astronauts could get a good grip on things -- wrenches, beams, the side of the space station -- so something doesn't fly into orbit. Then stick brightly-colored Velcro strips everywhere they would normally want to go.

To improve it a bit farther, color code the strips for each section of the station, perhaps making them elongated arrows with the point aiming toward the appropriate section (bright red for docking bays, green for life sciences, blue for sleeping quarters, etc.). That way even newcomers to the station know where everything is.

mrouse, Apr 24 2002

They'd look something like this: http://blt.imageg.n...mages/p588262dt.jpg
Put Velcro on the palm and you get Fuzzgloves(tm)! :-) [mrouse, Apr 24 2002, last modified Oct 17 2004]

The Payload Equipment Restraint System (PERS) http://www.msfc.nas...01/photos01-065.htm
"H-Strap installation" looks more like thinly disguised slot machines in space. Saaaaaaayyy... [thumbwax, Apr 25 2002, last modified Oct 17 2004]

Apollo caspule fire January 27, 1967 http://www.hq.nasa....y/SP-4009/v4p1h.htm
Too many non-flight items to list here. [Klaatu, Oct 17 2004]

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       I read somewhere that the rather giant Imax film cameras were mounted for shots in the orbiting shuttle with just a few strips of velcro.
bristolz, Apr 24 2002
  

       Whoa, something useful on the bakery? Quick, call NASA!
RayfordSteele, Apr 24 2002
  

       Nice try. There is to be no Velcro on Space Station, as I recall. I was there. I spent 8 years in the thick of developing design requirements for the Laboratory (now named Destiny) and the Hab (now in limbo) modules. Check the document entitled NASA Standard 3000, available at the NASA center near you, if you can talk a NASA person or contractor out of one--or maybe it is available at your local government publication depository. In this document you will find the parent requirements for the design of all Space Station Human Factors hardware, at least, maybe software too. I've been away since 1993. But there you go. Study it, start corresponding with NASA people, join the National Space Society, and maybe you can land a job in the field--although, until the next big thing in space comes along, jobs in this area might be slim pickin's.
entremanure, Apr 25 2002
  

       [entremanure]: I don't see where [mrouse] was implying that there was Velcro on the ISS.
bristolz, Apr 25 2002
  

       Re-read the idea. The point is that Velcro is not the attachment mechanism of choice on SS for reasons that I don't remember. But hey, that was almost ten years ago and NASA changes things to get the best result.
entremanure, Apr 25 2002
  

       I re-read it and still don't see . . . oh forget it.
bristolz, Apr 25 2002
  

       Ha! I'll never forget the T.V. clip of David Letterman wearing a Velcro suit and gloves, I think, and running up to a Velcro-covered wall and jumping up flat to the wall and sticking to it nicely. Hey, build your own privately-funded space station or hotel and put Velcro everywhere--why not?
entremanure, Apr 25 2002
  

       From what I've read, they do use Velcro for sticking things in place (food packages, tools, personal items, sleeping restraints), just not for propelling themselves around the module.
mrouse, Apr 25 2002
  

       // ...astronauts are flying around with reckless abandon, careening into each other, bumping experiments, accidently hitting buttons, and generally making a nuisance of themselves... //   

       No, they're not.   

       You think NASA hasn't dealt with this issue after 40 years? You offer a solution to a non-existent problem. Handholds, footloops and support straps all over the place - this is not a problem.
waugsqueke, Apr 25 2002
  

       // ...astronauts are flying around with reckless abandon, careening into each other, bumping experiments, accidently hitting buttons, and generally making a nuisance of themselves... //   

       I was being facetious. Besides, as UnaBubba pointed out, NASA's solution completely overlooks dwarf tossing :)
mrouse, Apr 25 2002
  

       [entremanure] I finally heard back from my friends in Houston. There is extensive use of velcro on the Space Station and the Shuttles. As one answered my velcro question with, "Oh, my yes!" As I remember, velcro was originally developed for the space programs.
dag, Apr 30 2002
  

       Huh. Well, I wonder if they documented their requirements regarding the use of Velcro in the document I mentioned. Funny how things stick in your mind--factoids. I suppose Velcro really found its first real home in space and I know that it was invented by a guy who noticed how well burred seeds stuck to his pants.   

       Guess I should get some Velcro and use it to catch my brain droppings!
entremanure, May 01 2002
  

       Huh. Well, I wonder if they documented their requirements regarding the use of Velcro in the document I mentioned. Funny how things stick in your mind--factoids. I suppose Velcro really found its first real home in space and I know that it was invented by a guy who noticed how well burred seeds stuck to his pants.   

       Guess I should get some Velcro and use it to catch my brain droppings!
entremanure, May 01 2002
  

       I wouldn't be surprised if they still used velcro extensively... BUT, remember the first Apollo crew? The one whose capsule went up in flames on the ground? Well, it was velcro that was burning in that oxygen-rich enviroment. All that plastic has got some real chemical energy...
TerranFury, Jan 31 2004
  

       Thanks for the correction, Klaatu.
TerranFury, Feb 02 2004
  
      
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