America and Russia have independently implemented designs of individual life support systems to provide extravehicular activity (EVA) capability in support of the Space Shuttle and Orbital Station Mir programs. With the end of the “cold war,” and establishment of new cooperative relationships between America and Russia, joint space ventures are being planned. Mixed American and Russian crews are currently training for upcoming Space Shuttle and Orbital Station Mir missions with a Shuttle-to-Mir rendezvous flight scheduled for 1995.While not currently planned, a joint American and Russian effort to develop and demonstrate Space Shuttle and Mir compatibility to conduct an extravehicular crew rescue from either country's spacecraft would appear to be a desirable future objective. One of the first steps necessary to achieve this objective is to identify and better understand each country's current extravehicular individual life support systems and host vehicle's interface characteristics.This paper introduces the American Space Shuttle Extravehicular Mobility Unit, called the EMU, and the Russian Orbital Space Station Mir extravehicular spacesuit, called Orlan DMA, by comparing macroscopic features and characteristics. These include a discussion of task and physiological requirements, host vehicles characteristics, and the system architecture for each country's individual life support system.