PROTECTIVE MEASURES AGAINST ACCIDENTAL DECOMPRESSION IN SPACE AND ATMOSPHERIC FLIGHT.
AEROMEDICAL RESEARCH LAB (6571ST) HOLLOMAN AFB N MEX
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Rapid decompression experiments with humans and animals are synthesized in up-to-date tables and the etiology and symptomotology of the decompression syndrome including the subsequent hypoxic stress are discussed. Special consideration is given to Time of Useful Consciousness TUC and Total Rescue Time TRT, as limiting factors for rescue operations. Compartmentalization is suggested as a protective measure for both spacecraft and stratospheric aircraft the operational aspects are discussed in detail. Division of space stations into two or more compartments, which are separated by airlocks, would offer additional advantages such as 1 the possibility to conduct controlled decompressions in case of fire or contamination by noxious agents in one of the compartments, 2 use of the airlock as a hyperbaric chamber for immediate therapy of decompression victims, and 3 use of the airlock as a radiation shelter during periods of increased radiation intensity. For the protection of crews who are exploring the surface of another planet or the moon, it would be desirable to provide easily transportable, lightweight, Minishelters, consisting of a small pressurized compartment with an airlock. As the exploratory expedition advances, these shelters should be distributed like relays on strategic points in order to assure recompression of the explorers before TRT has elapsed. International standardization of spacecraft components such as entrance hatches, electronic monitoring devices, and life support components is suggested. Author
- Stress Physiology
- Life Support Systems