Project OTTER (‘Orbital Technologies and Tools for Extravehicular Research’) is the orbital citizen-science affiliate of the International Institute of Astronautical Sciences. OTTER provides a practical education for the professional interested in Extravehicular Activity (EVA) Space Suit Operations and space flight operations. OTTER prepares students for research involving Martian and Lunar geology, space medicine, saturation diving, life support systems, and spaceflight physiology while testing Final Frontier Design EVA space suits in analog terrestrial, microgravity, and underwater environments. OTTER students also study spacecraft systems, orbital mechanics and operations, and flight test engineering.
All PoSSUM Scientist-Astronaut Candidates and Advanced PoSSUM Academy graduates are eligible to enroll in Project OTTER Extravehicular Activity and Spacecraft Technologies research and education programs. Extravehicular Operations courses lead to qualification to conduct underwater testing of EVA space suits and include EVA 101: Life Support Systems, EVA 102: Operational Space Medicine, EVA 103: Planetary Field Geology and EVA Tool Development, and EVA 104: EVA Space Suit Evaluation.
OTTER scientist-astronaut candidates concentrate on design considerations for EVA systems by applying lessons learned through the development of tools for conducting planetary field geology and for managing medical contingencies during EVA activities. The members are then able to consider the constraints placed by human factors, the EVA environment, and science tasks upon the design and implementation of EVA suits, tools, and procedures for effective and efficient field science operations on planetary surfaces. These tools and procedures are later evaluated in our gravity-offset laboratory at the Canadian Space Agency Headquarters. Here, EVA space suit prototypes may be evaluated in a controlled environment. OTTER’s gravity-offset system is a two-axis system that may simulate any gravity level between 1-0G including lunar and Martian gravity levels.
EVA 104 is held at the Canadian Space Agency headquarters in Montreal, Quebec
OTTER scientist-astronaut candidates test remote field medicine techniques that might be necessary during an orbital or surface EVA where evacuation is not a possibility. These studies are designed to influence the design of EVA space suits and operational procedures, accommodating for contingencies that might require administration of medicine, changes of environment within the space suit, administration of CPR or other life saving techniques, or obstruction of eyesight. These tools and procedures are later evaluated in a gravity-offset laboratory.
OTTER scientist-astronaut candidates concentrate on design considerations for EVA systems and tools for conducting planetary field geology. The members are then able to consider the constraints placed by human factors, the EVA environment, and science tasks upon the design and implementation of EVA suits, tools, and procedures for effective and efficient field science operations on planetary surfaces. These tools and procedures are later evaluated in a gravity-offset laboratory.
EVA 101 will familiarize the student with the essential features of life support systems required for various types of space missions and will cover the requirements and design considerations for life support systems in space. Included are an introduction to basic human physiology, a description of the space environment, a survey of historical life support systems, and a presentation of spacecraft limitations and requirements and EVA space suit operations.
EVA 102 course participants will learn about space medicine, wilderness medicine, human performance, leadership and psychological resilience. The course will dedicate a special focus to extreme environment and wilderness medicine, and how the spaceflight environments may inform triage and first aid scenarios. The on-site portion of this class will focus on wilderness medicine in extreme environments, culminating with triage instruction with scenarios and skills pertaining to wilderness medicine and employing remote techniques such as those that would be used on Mars.
EVA 103 covers the requirements and design considerations for EVA systems and tools for conducting planetary field geology. Included are an introduction to field science in the context of geology; an overview of the processes that shape the surface environments of Mars and Earth’s moon; a survey of historical planetary surface geologic exploration by robots and humans; a survey of historical EVA systems and the design and implementation of EVA suits, tools, and procedures for effective and efficient field science operations on planetary surfaces.
EVA 104 provides an introduction to EVA space suit test and evaluation methods in partnership with Final Frontier Design. Students learn fundamentals of EVA space suit operations and then use the tools and procedures developed in the OTTER EVA 102 or EVA 103 courses. The EVA space suit will be tested and validated in a gravity-offset laboratory environment that can simulate microgravity, lunar, or martian gravity environments. Prerequisites: EVA 101 and (EVA 102 or EVA 103)
EVA 101 will familiarize the student with the essential features of life support systems required for various types of space missions. This course covers the requirements and design considerations for life support systems in space. Included are an introduction to basic human physiology, a description of the space environment, a survey of historical life support systems, and a presentation of spacecraft limitations and requirements. The course concludes with an introduction to EVA space suit operations with the Final Frontier EVA space suit.
Course Performance Objectives:
Upon completion of the course the students will be able to:
1. Describe those attributes of human physiology requiring protection during in space flight with specific reference to the cardiovascular, fluid and skeletal systems.
2. Describe the impact of the psychological effects of long duration space flight.
3. Describe the evolution of life support systems from Mercury to the International Space Station.
4. Identify each of the 6 sub-systems of the ISS life support system and describe what each does with reference to specific sub systems within each sub system.
5. Discuss the role of air and water reuse in long duration space operations with particular reference to the concept of a closed life support system.
6. Describe the space environment, and describe protection techniques for humans against solar flares, galactic cosmic rays and microgravity.
7. Review and list the limitations placed on logistical support and life support requirements on the major NASA space projects (Moon, DSG and Mars missions).
8. Briefly discuss future life support requirements for missions beyond Earth orbit, including extended stays on the lunar surface and manned missions to Mars. Explain the rationale for human phenotyping, genetic manipulation and human hibernation in the context of long duration missions.
Textbook: Spaceflight Life Support and Biospherics. Space Technology Library
Week 1. Life support introduction
Week 2. The space environment
Week 3. Life support system basics
Week 4. Physico-chemical life support systems Part I
Week 5. Physico-chemical life support systems Part II
Week 6. Bioregenerative life support systems
Week 7. ISS and spacecraft life support systems
Week 8. Future life support system
Costs and Prerequisites:
Next Class: August 5 – Sept 27, 2019 (virtual instruction)
Prerequisites: Open University
Instructors: E. Seedhouse
Cost: $625 (virtual instruction)
Course Description: EVA 102 participants will learn about space medicine, wilderness medicine, human performance, leadership and psychological resilience. The course will dedicate a special focus to extreme environment & wilderness medicine, and how the spaceflight environments may inform triage and first aid scenarios. The on-site portion of this class will focus on wilderness medicine in extreme environments, culminating with a 4-day on-site lab portion devoted to triage, scenarios and skills pertaining to wilderness medicine. Basic and Advanced First Aid certifications and graduation from the PoSSUM Scientist-Astronaut program or Advanced PoSSUM Academy is prerequisite to EVA 102. EVA 101 is highly recommended.
It is anticipated that at the end of this course, participants will have gained 1) basic knowledge and understanding of space medicine and physiology, specifically the space environment as it pertains to human health pre-, post- and in-flight, 2) an appreciation of extreme environments and how they inform space exploration, and 3) a basic understanding of, and be able to demonstrate basic competency in skills related to wilderness medicine and outdoor survival.
Scientific papers :
NB: The practical component of this class will include a significant outdoor component. Participants will need to be medically cleared by their physician to take part and should expect to partake in strenuous physical activity. A suggested gear list will be sent out well in advance of the course.
Course Breakdown & Schedule: Online Seminars (12 hours) = 6 x 2 hours – Each 2 hour webinar will consist of a didactic component, self-study & pre-reading as preparation, discussion and a post-webinar evaluation.
Course Composition: Coursework, self-study, didactic lectures, office hours. Web portal with presentations, videos will host course material that students can access.
Webinar 1: Introduction to the Spaceflight Environment & Human Health Issues in Spaceflight
Webinar 2: Principles of Survival & Wilderness Medicine
Webinar 3: Overview of Classroom Component
Webinar 4: Introduction to the Space Medicine Challenges and Concepts.
Webinar 5: Introduction to Space Medicine specifications and developments: Commercial Spaceflight-Class, Exploration-Class, Settlement-Class.
Webinar 6: Introduction to Operational Space Medecine and Spaceflight Healthcare System.
Classroom component and survival course: Didactic Classroom & Practical Component (40 hours = 4.5 days)
Day 1: Arrival and check-in + ½ day classroom component
Day 2-4: Classroom component, skill building, triage, scenarios.
Day 5: Individual skills assessments, group and individual debrief, course evaluations, pack-up, leave
Webinar 1: Introduction to the Spaceflight Environment & Human Health Issues in Spaceflight (Pandya/von Kraus)
Topics include: radiation, microgravity, temperature, closed living quarters, altered day/night cycles, vibration, nutrition in space, physiological adaptations/maladaptations to space: cardiovascular, musculoskeletal, nervous, visual, immune, bone, deconditioning/post-landing physiology (impaired balance, orthostatic hypotension, muscle atrophy, etc.), counter-measures pre/post/in-flight. Continuation of post-flight physiology and impacts on post-flight medical scenarios. Overview of common post-flight medical scenarios. Webinar, discussion + post-seminar evaluation
Webinar 2: Principles of Survival & Wilderness Medicine I (Pandya/von Kraus)
Survival principles, Overview of Wilderness Medicine and introduction to Wilderness Triage & approach to a creating a medical kit, Teamwork, leadership, survival mentality & psychological resilience/resilience-building, decision-making, dealing with stress, discipline, situational awareness and professionalism. Webinar, discussion + post-seminar evaluation
Webinar 3: Overview of Classroom Component (von Kraus/Pandya)
Overview of practical component, Suggested gear list, gadgets and tech in the wild, further opportunities in space and wilderness medicine, including extreme and analog environments & space exploration. Webinar, discussion + post-seminar evaluation
Webinar 4: Introduction to the Space Medicine Challenges and Concepts (Saget)
Medicine concepts and challenges emerging from radiation, microgravity, confined isolation, social psychology, circadian rythm, vibrations, contaminants, nutritional aspects, adaptations, neuro-ocular syndrom, : cardiovascular, musculoskeletal, nervous, immune, bone, deconditioning upon landing, Life Support Systems. Management : prevention, mitigation, counter-measures, telemedicine. Discussion regarding expected medical scenarios, case studies.
Webinar 5: Introduction to Space Medicine specifications and developments: Commercial Spaceflight-Class, Exploration-Class, Settlement-Class. (Saget)
Rationales and discussions regarding previous and upcoming Spaceflight Range-Classes : Suborbital, LEO, Moon (CLO, Settlement), Deep Space (Flybys, Asteroïds, Phobos, Mars, Solar System exploration): Earthbound medical spin-offs and related applications, remote medicine. Basic, Advanced, Expert medical training. Development of commercial spaceflight and new clinical and surgical skills needs. Increased duration of missions and distance from Earth and new medical events to manage, new organization between ground control and crew resources.
Webinar 6: Introduction to Operational Space Medecine and Spaceflight Healthcare System (Saget)
Principles and state of the art. ISS medical support current organization and Astronauts medical pathway. Medical. Behavior and Human Performance aspects. Critical requirements for deep space exploration. Perspectives and prospective : focus on P3 medicine, NBIC biomedical innovations, crew wellness, nutrigenomics, VRAR, 3D printing, genetic tools (i.e. Crispr-Cas systems), telehealth (monitoring, telemedicine, telesurgery) technologies, robotics, autonomous and drones interaction. Applied emergency medicine and MEVA (medical extra-vehicular activity).
Classroom component and survival course
Didactic Classroom Component (20 hours = 2.5 classroom days or 2 x 10hr days)
Review of spaceflight-related changes and wilderness considerations in post-flight physiology state, Exposures & First Aid, Temperature Exposures: Frostbite, Hypothermia & Heat Stroke, Animal & Insect Exposure: Bites, stings, injuries, Triaging, Wound Management, Burn Management, Orthopedic Injuries, Botanical Encounters, Altitude Sickness, Submersion Injuries, Drowning, Sun exposure, Pre-existing conditions (less time on this, as astronaut candidates are presumably healthy), Approach to Triage in the Wilderness
Practical Drills: Team-building, approach to triage in the wilderness, focussed triage on specific problems, small group sessions (knots, splinting, shelter-building, wraps, taping, dealing with blisters, epipen, c-spine evaluation, lifts) – some can also be interspersed into the trek itself, litters, try a scenario in a deconditioned state
Outdoor Skills: Shelters, Fires, Water purification, Food
Practical Component (32 hours) – day survival trip + debrief
DAY 1: Arrival and check-in + ½ day classroom component
Day 2-5: Classroom component
principles of team-building and wilderness medicine trip +/- building shelter based on group experience, round robin events along triage, drills & survival scenarios.
Day 6: Individual & team skills assessments, group and individual debrief, individual evaluations, course evaluations, pack-up
PASS/FAIL – need to complete all components to pass course and receive certification
Pre-course seminars participation (PASS/FAIL)
Classroom component participation (PASS/FAIL)
Survival trek participation (PASS/FAIL)
Teamwork/Leadership – Evidence of progress – (Based on individual evaluations with course instructors)
Skills assessment – (Based on individual evaluations with course instructors)
Participation in debrief – group and individual debriefs
Completion of webinar and on-site course components’ evaluations
Location: Vicinity of the Canadian Space Agency headquarters in Montreal, Quebec
Breakdown: 12 hours virtual, 4 days on-site for classroom/practical)
Prerequisites: Basic and Advanced First Aid, PoSSUM Scientist-Astronaut Qualification Program or Advanced PoSSUM Academy
Course Capacity: 12 students maximum
Cost: $2400. Includes webinars, tuition, 4-nights lodging (double-occupancy), texts, and all field equipment.
Course Description (3 credits)
This course covers the requirements and design considerations for EVA systems and tools for conducting planetary field geology. Included are an introduction to field science in the context of geology; an overview of the processes that shape the surface environments of Mars and Earth’s moon; a survey of historical planetary surface geologic exploration by robots and humans; and a survey of historical EVA systems and tools used for human surface science. Emphasis will be on analyzing the constraints placed by human factors, the EVA environment, science tasks, etc. upon the design and implementation of EVA suits, tools, and procedures for effective and efficient field science operations on planetary surfaces.
The purpose of this course is to provide the student with a foundational understanding of the requirements, methods, and limitations of conducting geologic field work during EVAs on planetary surfaces such as the Moon and Mars.
Course Performance Objectives
Upon completion of the course the students will be able to:
Selected readings from published articles
February 4 – March 29, 2019: Online Instruction
Weeks 1-2. Introduction to geology and planetary geologic processes
Week 3. Geology and surface environment of the Moon, including open science questions
Week 4. Geology and surface environment of Mars, including open science questions
Weeks 5-6. Planetary field geology: terrestrial field geology; past efforts and lessons learned from Apollo to MSL; current efforts and lessons learned at analog sites
Week 7-8: Martian Atmospheres
Weeks 9-10. Analysis, design, and fabrication of geologic tools for field testing; traverse planning
April 1 – May 10, 2019: Fabrication of test tools by Integrated Spaceflight
May 11-14, 2019: Field Work
The online portion of the course will be followed by a ~1-week capstone field experience in the San Francisco Volcanic Field (SFVF), just north of Flagstaff, AZ. This area has been used extensively in the past for a number of NASA analog mission simulations and NASA-funded geologic research related to planetary field exploration. Students will be introduced to basic field science practice in the context of geologic observations and sample collection. Field work will also involve testing of prototype surface EVA suits and tools in the scientifically relevant analog setting of the SFVF.
Cost and Prerequisites:
Next Class: February 4 – April 5, 2019 (Online instruction), May 11-14 (Field Instruction)
Location: Online Course and Capstone Field Experience in San Francisco Volcanic Field, AZ
Prerequisites: PoSSUM Scientist-Astronaut Program or Advanced PoSSUM Academy, EVA 101: Life Support Systems Recommended
Instructors: Dr. Jose Hurtado, Dr. Ulyana Horodyskyj
Cost: $2800. Includes Tuition (3-credits), Lodging near Flagstaff, AZ. Local transportation and lunch at the field site (4 days). Expenses to develop test articles for analog research tools. Texts and materials. Transportation to/from Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport.