Most space suits operate at pressures below normal atmospheric pressure ( lb/in 2 , or 1 atm); the space shuttle cabin also operates at normal atmospheric pressure. The space suit used by shuttle astronauts operates at lb/in 2 , or atm. Therefore, the cabin pressure of either the shuttle itself or an airlock must be reduced before an astronaut gets suited up for a spacewalk. A spacewalking astronaut runs the risk of getting the bends because of the changes in pressure between the space suit and the shuttle cabin.


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