Overcoming Suit Atmosperic Pressure: Gauntlet of Gripping




About: I like inventing things and solving problems. My available tools skills and materials frustrate me constantly. Writing instructables is a way for me, to stop ideas from turning in my head, to close the case ...

Some time ago I saw a youtube video by Chris Hadfield. Among other things, he talked about, how strenuous work during a space walk can be. The problem is not only, that the suit is clunky, but also, that it is sort of like a balloon, that has to be compressed for every movement you make. This seems to make even holding the tools for repairs on the International Space Station a challenge.

Now, the space agencies have a lot of smart people and can probably solve their problems on their own, but at this junkition, space travel is at least 80% about inspiring us earthbounds to dream big.

So here is my Gauntlet of Gripping, an attempt at solving the problem, that the space suit presses against the grip of the atronaut, by pulling the fingers of the wearer closed with drawstings.


Step 1: Materials

Some one time gloves,

1 plastic bottle,

some scotch tape,

some velcro fastener

part of a plastic folding rule

Step 2: Reinforcing the Finger Sections of the Glove

Put on a single use glove and wrap scotch tape around the second and third finger section of the index, middle and ring finger.

Wrap the scotch tape as loosely as you can. Even a little too tight and you will have trouble getting out of the glove.

It can be very dangerous for your fingers if you wrap the tape to tight, so please take care.

Step 3: Making the Drawstrings

Take 4 single use gloves and cut of their wrist parts until short under the finger and thumb part.

Roll the resulting loops, to get a more stable twisted loop.

Step 4: Putting on the Drawstings

for the intermediate phalanax (finger section) of each finger press a drawstring loop against the phalanax and wrap loosely with scotch tape around the finger sectionand the draw sting.

Do so about three times.

Hold the drawstings down towards your palm and wrap very loosely around the third phalanax of each finger and the drastring.

Now you should still be able to take off the glove.

Pulling on the drawstings should now close your fingers.

Step 5: The Wristpart

The wrist part is needed, so that we can attach the drawstrings.

Cut out a relativley streight section of a plastic bottle.

You should be able to wrap it around your wrist after cutting the ring.

Put scotch tape around the edges of the plastik stripe.

Put two stripes of soft velcro fastener on the inside of the plasitc stripe.

Put the corresponding hooky velcro fastener pits on the soft velcro fastener and remove the foil on the backside, exposing the glue of the velcro fastener tape.

Wrap the writst part tightly around your wrist, so that the velcro fastener overlaps with and presses against the plastik stripe.

Step 6: Adding a Hook for the Drawstings

Break off 3 sections of a small folding rule.

Hook one section into the wrist part and fixate it with scotch tape.

Step 7: Some Padding

When I used the gauntlet of gripping the first time, the wristpart was pulled up by the drawstings and dug painfully into my hand.

To avoid this, add a pice of yoga mat or similar material as padding on the inside of the wristpart.

Make sure the yoga mat sticks out on the upper side.

Wrap a few bits of scotch tape frome the inside to the outside and back around the yoga mat and the plastic stripe.

This way your padding stays in place.

Step 8: Usage and Testing

Hook the draw stings into the folding ruler parts.

I noticed that the wrist part was still very uncomfortable.

My fingers where drawn closed, when I relaxed them.

It was no problem to hold a grip trainer pressed for a few minutes.

Repeating the same on the next day with out the gauntlet of gripping, I barely manage twenty seconds.

In both cases, I didn't close the hand traineer completely.

So there seems to be some merit in the idea.

If you know how actual space engineers solve this problem, please let me know.

Thanks for reading




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    11 Discussions


    11 months ago

    Another greatly creative instructable. I'm wondering about the potential value for folks who for medical reasons find it hard to grip things in order to hold eating utensils, walk w)out dropping their canes, or do work/daily living functions.

    Too cool, dude. Oh no, wait! "Too cool" was one of your other tutorials.

    May the forks be with you. "D'oh!" C8-)K

    1 reply

    Reply 11 months ago

    :D thank you for the super nice and encouraging comments.

    For usage by people with problems holding things, I see the difficulty that the gauntle of gripping makes opening one's hand rather difficult, but it's an interesting direction.

    You bought me to some ideas there :)

    Alex in NZ

    1 year ago

    Really clever design, and much easier (and safer) than building a vacuum glovebox! Thank you for sharing this :-)

    3 replies
    PhilippW1Alex in NZ

    Reply 1 year ago

    Thanks, I'm happy you see some use in it. How would this replace a vacuum glovebox?

    Alex in NZPhilippW1

    Reply 1 year ago

    There's an Adam Save video here where he demonstrates using a spacesuit glove in a box which is depressurised to relative vacuum. It's really cool, but a lot more involved than your system :-)

    PhilippW1Alex in NZ

    Reply 1 year ago

    Wow, that is incredebly awesome :D thank you so much for sharing


    1 year ago

    Goed thinking!


    1 year ago

    I climb in competitions, so i'm wondering if this could be used In forearm training.... You my friend are on to something.


    1 year ago

    Interesting concept. It looks (and works) similar to our muscles.

    Do you think, it may be more comfortable for wrist if using some kind of sport glove?

    1 reply

    Reply 1 year ago

    Ye, sport gloves would probably also be better for continued use and stability. The wrist part is uncomfortable, because it is pushed against the hand by the drawstings, if the sporting gloves would avoid or lesssen that, then they would make it much more comfortable.

    I think this can be improved a lot, by simply using the right parts and materials.

    I didn't see a use in this beond testing out the basic idea.

    Thanks :)


    1 year ago

    I'd like to wear some kind of gloves, which allows me to grip longer/harder. For pulling up, for example