Intravehicular Activity Clothing Study (IVA Clothing Study) - 02.15.14

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Science Objectives for Everyone

The Intravehicular Activity Clothing Study (IVA Clothing Study) dresses crewmembers in commercially available lightweight clothes that have been designed to resist germs. There’s no laundry in space, so dirty garments are trashed. Sufficient cotton clothes for a crew of six adds more than 900 pounds of freight to the International Space Station. Replacing crew uniforms with non-cotton apparel could reduce weight for cargo launches and trash removal, and provide crewmembers with more comfortable, longer-lasting clothes.

Science Results for Everyone
Information Pending

This content was provided by Evelyne Orndoff, M.S., Vicky Byrne, M.S., and is maintained in a database by the ISS Program Science Office.

Experiment Details

OpNom IVA Clothing Study

Principal Investigator(s)

  • Evelyne Orndoff, M.S., National Aeronautics and Space Administration, Houston, TX, United States
  • Vicky Byrne, M.S., Lockheed Martin, Houston, TX, United States

  • Co-Investigator(s)/Collaborator(s)
  • Darwin Poritz, Ph.D., MEI Technologies, Houston, TX, United States
  • Thilini Schlesinger, B.S., National Aeronautics and Space Administration, Houston, TX, United States

  • Developer(s)
    Johnson Space Center, Houston, TX, United States

    Sponsoring Space Agency
    National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)

    Sponsoring Organization
    Technology Demonstration Office (TDO)

    Research Benefits
    Information Pending

    ISS Expedition Duration
    March 2014 - March 2015

    Expeditions Assigned

    Previous ISS Missions
    Information Pending

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    Experiment Description

    Research Overview

    • Clothing accounts for over 900 pounds for an ISS crew of six for a year.  Traditional cotton garments also contribute to lint generation causing clogging of air filters and increased cleaning.

    • Test the length of wear and crew response to light weight, germ resistant, commercially available clothing.

    • Reduction of clothing launch and trash mass, and providing crewmembers with comfortable, long lasting clothing.

    ISS Science Challenge Student Reflection



    Both preflight and in-flight, crewmembers wear study t-shirts and shorts for 15-day study periods, one preflight period and one in-flight period.  There is no post-flight activity.  For the preflight component of the study, there is only an exercise wear activity.  For the in-flight component of the study, there are both routine wear and exercise wear components of the study for t-shirts and just an exercise wear component for shorts.  For routine wear, either a modacrylic or an Icebreaker Wool t-shirt will be worn.  For exercise periods, a polyester t-shirt and shorts will be worn during cardiovascular sessions only.  Exercise t-shirts and shorts will be pretreated with an approved antimicrobial.

    Some of the exercise t-shirts, and all of the shorts, are treated with the antimicrobial 3-(Trimethoxsilyl)propyldimethyloctadecyl ammonium chloride, Chemical Abstract Service number (CAS #) 27668-52-6, from the supplier PureShield, Inc., under the brand name Bio-Protect 500.  This compound wasreviewed and approved in 2007 by the Environmental Protection Agency as safe for use on clothing when applied as directed in Reregistration Eligibility Decision (RED) EPA 739-R-07-007.


    Other exercise t-shirts are made with yarn containing an antimicrobial copper ion.  This fabric treatment is marketed commercially under the name Cupron, by Cupron, Inc.  The material has passed standard allergenicity and skin irritation tests.  This compound was reviewed and approved in 2011 by the Environmental Protection Agency as safe for use in fabrics for personal use, such as bed linens with EPA Registration Number 84542-6.


    All t-shirts and shorts are hung up to dry out and then stowed away when not in use during the 15-day study periods.  A questionnaire, taking five to ten minutes, is completed at the end of each day for the routine wear t-shirt and after each exercise period for the exercise wear t-shirt and shorts.  If a t-shirt or shorts are deemed no longer acceptable for wear, then that item will be withdrawn from use and a new study item will be put in use.  For the preflight component, all t-shirts and shorts are returned to representatives of the PI.  For the in-flight component, used t-shirts and shorts are discarded.

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    Space Applications

    Eliminating cotton would reduce lint, which can clog air filters on the International Space Station. Longer-lasting and lighter-weight clothes can reduce storage and launch requirements for crewmember apparel, which reduces costs. Clothing with antimicrobial properties can reduce odor problems. 

    Earth Applications

    Crewmembers exercise in commercially available shirts and shorts repeatedly, until they deem the clothes no longer acceptable to wear. Some of the test clothing is treated with various antimicrobial products, which could also be used in areas of the world where washing clothes is difficult.

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    Operational Requirements

    Crewmembers wear the exercise shirt and shorts only during cardiovascular exercise sessions.  This may include T2, TVIS, and CEVIS hardware.  The exercise clothing are hung up to dry for up to 4 hours and then stored in flame-resistant bags.  A questionnaire is taken daily soon after exercise to document perception of the exercise clothing and at the end of the day to document perception of the routine wear shirts.  Routine-wear shirts are  worn during all nominal activities.  If a PAO event or another event requires a different shirt to be worn, it is worn over the provided routine wear shirt.

    Operational Protocols

    • Crew members will wear the provided exercise shirts and shorts during cardiovascular exercise sessions (T2, CEVIS, TVIS) for a 15 day study period.
    • After each exercise session, the garments will be hung up to dry for up to 4 hours and then placed in flame-resistant bags for storage until the next day.
    • A questionnaire will be taken after the exercise session to document perception of the garments.
    • The same garments will be worn on subsequent study days until the crew member does not deem it acceptable to wear.
    • Fresh garments will be used on the following exercise session.

    • Routine-wear shirts will be provided to the 3 crew members participating in the 15 day study to wear during nominal daily activities.
    • At the end of each day, a questionnaire is taken to document perception of the shirt.
    • The shirt is worn again on subsequent days until it is deemed unacceptable, at which point a fresh shirt will be put on.

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    Results/More Information
    Information Pending

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    Related Websites

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