|Weightless Environment Test
The Weightless Environment Test System (WETS) is a weightless environment simulator of space by using water buoyancy.
of Weightless Environment Test Building|
Unfortunately, WETS was heavily damaged due to the Great East Japan Earthquake occurred on March 11, 2011. As the recovery of the pool was proved quite difficult and its expected utilization purposes had been attained, it was disassembled and removed. Since its operations since 1996, WETS was used for design reviews for the Japanese Experiment Module ("Kibo") and the H-II Transfer Vehicle ("KOUNOTORI"), and basic training and simulations of Extravehicular Activity for astronauts. Since 2007, it also was used for promotion of manned space activities.
Kibo will be operated in space
for more than ten years, and during that period, astronauts will conduct maintenance
activities. Especially for the components located outside Kibo, robotics maintenance
as well as EVA maintenance will be required. EVA is conducted by an astronaut
wearing the space suit. In order to conduct EVA as planned, it is essential to
evaluate EVA procedures, tools and aid equipment prior to the actual operation,
because of the limited mobility and resources (oxygen, power) of the space suit.
By using WETS, EVA simulation test is conducted for those evaluations.
Environment Simulation Test / Extravehicular Activity procedure development test|
The tank is 16 meters (52 feet) in diameter,
and 10.5 meters (34 feet) in depth. The full size Mockup of Kibo could be accommodated
in the water.
This equipment controls water quality
and temperature in the tank. It consists of filters, ozonizer, ph control equipment,
pumps and a boiler.
and Water Heating System|
This equipment supplies chilled water
to the test suit for temperature control in the suit.
Water Supply Equipment|
This system supplies breathing air to
the test suits as well as to the scuba tanks of the support divers.
Air Supply System|
In this room, monitoring and control panels of all
equipment, video equipment for monitoring the underwater operations and communications
equipment are installed, integrated weightless. Integrated weightless environment
simulation test is conducted by using this room.
Test support equipment includes the donning/doffing
station to support testing and training, space suit support equipment, scuba suit
dryer, and scuba gear.
The test suit is almost the same as the space suit used on orbit. The
back pack (the life support system), and the control panel located in front of
the chest are mockups.
This is for emergency hyperbaric treatment for space
suit or scuba divers, who suffer decompression sickness. Patients are put inside
the chamber to be pressurized and are slowly depressurized to the sea level.
Last Updated : March 17, 2017