Date of Award

January 2016

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Space Studies

First Advisor

Pablo de Leon


With the current push to return to planetary exploration it is important to consider what science will be performed on such missions and how it is to be performed. This study considered three hand tools used for geologic sampling during the Apollo missions to determine whether handle redesigns guided by NASA-STD-3001 improved the performance of the tools. The tools of interest were the large adjustable scoop, the rake, and the 32-inch tongs, selected for relevance and usability in the test location. The three tools with their original and modified handle diameters were tested with two subjects wearing the NDX-1 Planetary Suit and performed within the regolith bin operated by Swamp Works at Kennedy Space Center. The effects of the tool modifications on task performance did not conclusively demonstrate improvement. However, a methodology was developed that may prove beneficial in future tests using larger sample sizes.