Project OTTER (‘Orbital Technologies and Tools for Extravehicular Research’) conducts research leading to development of Extravehicular Activity (EVA) Space suits. Human performance in EVA technologies is assessed in various analog environments. For terrestrial analog, the San Francisco Volcanic Flats near Flagstaff, AZ provide a volcanic terrain similar to those on the moon or Mars, and it is for this reason that NASA conducts research and astronaut training in this region. For underwater analog, OTTER is planning several collaborations for tethered and untethered underwater EVA analog activities as well as microgravity testing. In both analogs, tools and operational procedures are developed and tested.
All PoSSUM Scientist-Astronaut Candidates and Advanced PoSSUM Academy graduates are eligible to enroll in Project OTTER research and education programs. Additionally, students wishing to participate in EVA 104 (Fundamentals of EVA Space Suit Operations) courses are required to pass either EVA 102 (Wilderness and Remote Medical Operations) or EVA 103 (Lunar and Martian Geology) since tools and techniques developed and tested in these courses will be evaluated in a controlled laboratory environment with EVA space suits.