View Full Version : Who makes the hand tools?

2007-Oct-22, 01:54 PM
Silly question but who makes the hand tools carried on board the ISS and shuttle. Snapon? Craftsman? And what is a zero torque wrench anyway? I heard them mentioned years ago.

2007-Oct-22, 03:33 PM
NASA has a lab which makes the tools. United Space Alliance is the contractor that runs the lab.

2007-Oct-22, 03:53 PM
I'm getting this vision of a $10,000 screwdriver. Other than a bit lighter than the ones Earthlings use, is there something special about them?

2007-Oct-22, 03:55 PM
And what is a zero torque wrench anyway?

Abstract of technical paper "Zero-torque spanner wrench" (search NTRS (http://ntrs.nasa.gov/search.jsp)):

Author: Friedell, M. V.
Document ID: 19800000107
Accession ID: 80B10107
Report Number: MSC-14843

Wrench converts gripping action of hand to rotary motion without imparting reactive moments or forces on part being turned or on operator. Wrench should be useful in undersea operations and other delicate work where reactive forces and torques have to be controlled. In design for valve tightening, tool resembles cross between conventional spanner wrench and pilers. One handle engages valve body second handle has ratchet pawl that engages toothed coupling ring on perimeter of valve handle. When operator squeezes wrench handles, valve handle rotates with respect to valve body.

2007-Oct-22, 03:57 PM
is there something special about them?

Designed for use in micro-gravity -- though many standard tools will work if operator restraint is available.

NASA Man-Systems Integration Standards :: HARDWARE AND EQUIPMENT (http://msis.jsc.nasa.gov/sections/section11.htm)

Previous orbital missions have indicated that, when properly restrained, the crewmembers can perform most manipulative operations on orbit using standard tools as effectively as these operations can be performed in an Earth environment. In many in-space maintenance operations, this adequate restraint was not anticipated in the design of the equipment. This led to a lot of wasted time and crew frustration. Therefore, it is very important that adequate interface designs (i.e., designing the payload for EVA and IVA servicing), adequate body restraints, and a moderate complement of hand tools be provided so space system servicing requirements can be met.
The tool design requirements in the following subsections apply to tools that are intended to be used to activate, operate, maintain, and deactivate manned and unmanned equipment in both EVA and IVA environments.

Lots of detail.

2007-Oct-22, 11:37 PM
i know i've seen standard Vice Grip brand locking adjustable pliers being used inside the ISS while watching NASA TV.

2007-Oct-24, 06:23 AM
While they're a lot lighter than steel tools, titanium is a lot lighter, but beryllium is much lighter still, and has the added benefit that it doesn't spark.

Kaptain K
2007-Oct-24, 03:15 PM
Beryllium metal dust can cause major lung damage and beryllium salts are very toxic!

2007-Oct-24, 03:37 PM
I donít know what it is currently, but I think I remember years ago it was about $10,000 per pound to put something in orbit. It sounds like NASA spends more than that on one tool kit. Iíll bet Craftsman would pay NASA more than that to provide free tool kits for launches. But that would make economic sense. And we know NASA is not going to go down that road.

2007-Oct-24, 03:55 PM
But that would make economic sense. And we know NASA is not going to go down that road.

That NASA is not going to make economical decisions? Why do we know that?

2007-Oct-24, 10:15 PM
they might not be allowed to be given free tools, since that might be seen as a sponsorship.
being that they are a government agency and all that, they are probably bound by law or some other regulation to have to buy their tools.
maybe if Craftsman paid them to fly their tools up there for "durability testing" or some other kind of experiment, then maybe they could do it that way...