Vacc Suit

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A Vacc Suit or vacuum suit allows lifeforms to work in a vacuum environment. At lower Tech Levels, vacc suits are unwieldy and uncomfortable, but they become lighter, more flexible and improved protections with each technological advance. Vacc suits consist of the suit, gloves, boots, and a standard helmet; they protect against temperatures from +100°C to -110°C and pressures of up to 5 atmospheres. [1][2]


See also:


Description[edit]

The standard vacc suit, a mass-produced, fully outfitted soft suit designed for those who have little knowledge of space or don‘t need a more elaborate system. Every suit uses the standard portable life support system (PLSS) backpacks or connected to a central life support system via an umbilical hose. Either supply oxygen and power, and remove the exhaled gases and other wastes. It is equipped with a simple sub-regional range public frequency radio. It can be worn over normal clothing, and all control hardware is on a small front-mounted pack, allowing normal if somewhat cramped accommodation in most seating. It uses a standard PLSS-10 unit and a pair of fans for 12 hours worth of life support circulation (one for the body, one to keep the helmet defogged). [3][4]

The only rigid part of the suit is the front visor, so the entire suit can be folded into a relatively small space (such as a large attache case). While it has normal abrasion resistance, it is not self-sealing, provides no radiation protection, and only minimal protection against damage (a penetrated hit will cause slow leaks that will empty the suit in 10 minutes unless sealed with one of the two included sealant patches).[3][4]

There are two general types of vacc suits: soft suits, which consist entirely of cloth or fabric with an integrated heating/cooling system. These suits are more comfortable to wear but are more prone to puncture and have a smaller temperature range. By TL–14, the soft suits can be tailored to the individual user, to different fashion standards, and designed to be worn as clothing. Hard suits are built to Combat Armour standards but without weapons or vision enhancement gear. This provides greater protection against hazards, including radiation and greater temperature range.

There are two types of helmets that go to with each vacc suit: soft helmets are easier to manage, put on, and take off. The soft helmet is a partly reinforced cloth and plastic covering held up by the air pressure inside the suit. Like the soft suits, the soft helmets are less protective and do not work in areas where the external pressure exceeds the air pressure in the suit. A hard helmet is a reinforced plastic or metal with clear visors. The hard helmets offer greater protection against environmental hazards. Both have automatic polarizer to reduce incoming light levels to viewable ranges.

Vacuum effects[edit]

Vacuum causes immediate and severe damage to lifeforms used to living in an atmosphere or hydrosphere. If they survive the exposure, the damage is severe, but evenly distributed over the body’s systems so that any individual part is only somewhat affected. Cosmetic effects will last well beyond the actual damage, and may require surgery in some cases. Penetrating hits to suits that aren’t self-sealing can also hurt a lot. This is known as “blowout”, but is not as catastrophic as it sounds: the closest body part is sucked up against the hole, at which point the skin ruptures and blood, air and body tissues begin spraying out into space. The localized tissue damage is extremely painful.[5]

Low technology vacc suits[edit]

Vacc suit
Type Protective gear
Tech Level TL–4
Size 21.0 l
Weight 18.0 kg
Cost Cr22,500

The TL–4 vacc suit looks like - and performs like - something out of a Jules Verne novel. Bulky, ponderous and alarmingly prone to pressure leaks, this suit has no integral valves for use with individual air tanks (although such valves could be retrofitted with some effort). Instead, the suit's heat and oxygen supply is piped in through a dedicated umbilical tube. The umbilical tube has a variety of predictable drawbacks it limits the user's range, is an impediment to movement and is extremely vulnerable. However, as individual air tanks are not available until TL–5, it is the best the manufacturers can do. [6][7]

The TL–4 suit is also noted for its inability to keep heat in and radiation out (in spite of the very heavy lead mesh).

Vacc suit
Type Protective gear
Tech Level TL–5
Size 16.0 l
Weight 15.0 kg
Cost Cr16,000
TL–5 vacc suits are more flexible than their TL–4 predecessors, less prone to leaks, and equipped to accept either individual air tanks or improved umbilical connections. Heat comes from small electric warmers (powered by one hour batteries). Radiation protection, though better than the TL–4 model, is still rather poor. [8][7]
Vacc suit
Type Protective gear
Tech Level TL–6
Size 7l
Weight 7kg
Cost Cr12,500

At TL–6, vacc suits become lighter, more rugged and much more flexible. Descended from high-altitude flight suits, these garments offer better radiation protection and greatly improved heating and personal comfort. Unfortunately, they are no more puncture-resistant than their predecessors. They can accept both umbilical connections and air tanks.[8]

Middle technology vacc suits[edit]

Vacc suit
Type Protective gear
Tech Level TL–7
Size 13l
Weight 13kg
Cost Cr16,500

These are the first practical space suits. The TL–7 vacc suit is suitable for careful, extended forays into vacuum and light radiation environments. They incorporate semi-regenerative life support via the PLSS for extended endurance, heating and cooling systems, waste-processing systems, nourishment dispensers and rudimentary diagnostics. It provides adequate protection against abrasion and minimal damage, but is still somewhat clumsy to use. The autonomy and endurance (6 hours) of the suit are paid for by its extra mass and cost. At TL–7, suits are usually custom-made for the user at substantial expense. [8][7]

Vacc suit
Type Protective gear
Tech Level TL–8
Size 15l
Weight 14kg
Cost Cr10,000

The TL–8 vacc suit is a refined, less-bulky version of the TL–7 model. Increased manual dexterity and radiation shielding are two important features. It is commonly used with a basic PLSS. Personal maneuver capabilities can be provided by the maneuver pack (also introduced at TL–8 and fully integrated with the TL–8 suit and PLSS combination).[8]

Vacc suit
Type Protective gear
Tech Level TL–9
Size 8l
Weight 8kg
Cost Cr7,000

The standard vacc suit, typical for the interstellar traveler. Using a PLSS, the wearer can survive up to 48 hours. All suits have advanced internal diagnostics of the suit and the wearer, the latter allowing a Medical Scanner to be used without removing the suit. The suits also include a integral communicator. [9]

High technology vacc suits[edit]

Vacc suit
Type Protective gear
Tech Level TL–10
Size 8l
Weight 6kg
Cost Cr7,000

At TL–10, holographic heads-up displays become common in hard-helmet suits. The display shows the condition of the suit and the current battery level and air supply.[1]

Very high technology vacc suits[edit]

Vacc suit
Type Protective gear
Tech Level TL–13
Size 5l
Weight 4kg
Cost Cr7,000

At TL–13, vacc Suits have a self-sealing option, allowing the suit to automatically seal itself against small punctures.[1][2]. All suits have advanced internal diagnostics of the suit and the wearer, the latter allowing a Medical Scanner to be used without removing the suit. The suits also include a integral communicator.[9] The hard helmets have holographic heads-up displays showing the condition of the suit and the current battery level and air supply.[1] Air and power are supplied by a PLSS. Personal maneuver capabilities can be provided by the maneuver pack.[8]

Vacc suit
Type Protective gear
Tech Level TL–14
Size 2l
Weight 2kg
Cost Cr7,000

At TL–14, tailored vacc suits become available. These include a soft helmet which can be rolled into the collar and quick attach gloves. Other advantages of a tailored suit are style and status.[1][2] Both normal and tailored suits have a self-sealing option.[1][2]. All suits have advanced internal diagnostics of the suit and the wearer, the latter allowing a Medical Scanner to be used without removing the suit. The suits also include a integral communicator.[9] The hard helmets have holographic heads-up displays showing the condition of the suit and the current battery level and air supply.[1] Air and power are supplied by a PLSS. Personal maneuver capabilities can be provided by the maneuver pack.[8]

Vacc suit
Type Protective gear
Tech Level TL–15
Size 2.0 l
Weight 2.0 kg
Cost Cr7,000

At TL–15 all suits, including the tailored, are self sealing as a standard feature.[1][2]. All suits have advanced internal diagnostics of the suit and the wearer, the latter allowing a Medical Scanner to be used without removing the suit. The suits also include a integral communicator.[9] The hard helmets have holographic heads-up displays showing the condition of the suit and the current battery level and air supply.[1] Air and power are supplied by a basic PLSS. Personal maneuver capabilities can be provided by the maneuver pack.[8]

This article was copied or excerpted from the following copyrighted sources and used under license from Far Future Enterprises or by permission of the author.

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 1.8 Marc Miller. Imperial Encyclopedia (Game Designers Workshop, 1987), 68.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 Citation Missing - Traveller The New Era
  3. 3.0 3.1 Citation Missing - Journal of the Travellers' Aid Society 9
  4. 4.0 4.1 Greg Porter. Central Supply Catalog (Imperium Games, 1996), 14.
  5. Greg Porter. Central Supply Catalog (Imperium Games, 1996), 16-17.
  6. Charles E. Gannon. Hard Times (Game Designers Workshop, 1991), 89.
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 Greg Porter. Central Supply Catalog (Imperium Games, 1996), 15.
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 8.4 8.5 8.6 Charles E. Gannon. Hard Times (Game Designers Workshop, 1991), 90.
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 9.3 Marc Miller. T5 Core Rules (Far Future Enterprises, 2013), 630.