Systems Analysis of Life Support for Long-Duration Missions 2000-01-2394
Work defining advanced life support (ALS) technologies and evaluating their applicability to various long-duration missions has continued. Time-dependent and time-invariant costs have been estimated for a variety of life support technology options, including International Space Station (ISS) environmental control and life support systems (ECLSS) technologies and improved options under development by the ALS Project. These advanced options include physicochemical (PC) and bioregenerative (BIO) technologies, and may in the future include in-situ-resource utilization (ISRU) in an attempt to reduce both logistics costs and dependence on supply from Earth.
PC and bioregenerative technologies both provide possibilities for reducing mission equivalent system mass (ESM). PC technologies are most advantageous for missions of up to several years in length, while bioregenerative options are most appropriate for longer missions. ISRU can be synergistic with both PC and bioregenerative options. The break even point in a particular trade study depends on the specific technologies considered and assumptions used. However, as technology development continues and for different mission scenarios, the break-even points will change.