NASA Desert Rats: Suit Ports
The Lunar Electric Rover (LER) is equipped with a time and space saving concept called suit ports. The suit ports are located on the aft bulkhead of the LER, and are designed to allow astronauts to quickly go from driving in a shirtsleeve environment to Extravehicular Activity (EVA) in their space suits. Â The suit port will allow the crew to enter and exit their EVA suits via a rear-entry hatch, while never having to bring the suit inside, keeping the internal cabin mostly free of dust. Â The suit port will also minimize the loss of consumables when it is depressurized for EVA, extending duration of an LER sortie. Â
The crew uses alignment guides for docking to the suit port, and electromechanical mechanisms to lock and unlock the suit in place and also to open and close hatches. Â This is an upgrade from last yearâ€™s suit port concept that used all mechanically-actuated mechanisms with levers that the crew had to move. Â This suit port concept also includes an environmental shelter for the suits that will protect them from dust, thermal extremes, and micrometeoroid protection.