A small, lightweight, collapsible glove box enables its user to perform small experiments and other tasks. Originally intended for use aboard a space shuttle or the International Space Station (ISS), this glove box could also be attractive for use on Earth in settings in which work space or storage space is severely limited and, possibly, in which it is desirable to minimize weight.

Only Simple Motions are needed to prepare the glove box for use.
The development of this glove box was prompted by the findings that in the original space-shuttle or ISS setting, (1) it was necessary to perform small experiments in a large general-purpose work station, so that, in effect, they occupied excessive space; and it took excessive amounts of time to set up small experiments. The design of the glove box reflects the need to minimize the space occupied by experiments and the time needed to set up experiments, plus the requirement to limit the launch weight of the box and the space needed to store the box during transport into orbit.

To prepare the glove box for use, the astronaut or other user has merely to insert hands through the two fabric glove ports in the side walls of the box and move two hinges to a locking vertical position (see figure). The user could do this while seated with the glove box on the user’s lap. When stowed, the glove box is flat and has approximately the thickness of two pieces of 8-in. (≈20 cm) polycarbonate.

This work was done by Jerry James of Lockheed Martin for Ames Research Center.

Inquiries concerning rights for the commercial use of this invention should be addressed to

the Ames Technology Partnerships Division at (650) 604-2954.

Refer to ARC-15179-1.


NASA Tech Briefs Magazine

This article first appeared in the July, 2009 issue of NASA Tech Briefs Magazine.

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