Impact of Waste Processing Options on System Closure and Mission ESM 2002-01-2519
The technology selected for waste processing has a major effect on system closure and mission equivalent system mass (ESM). In particular, recovery of the water content of solid waste can make the difference between a mission being water poor and water rich. Potential alternative sources of water that need to be considered would include recovery of water from carbon dioxide reduction, and in situ resources.
This paper looks at a range of waste-processing scenarios and calculated system ESM impacts related to these options. The lowest ESM approach is generally storage or dumping. However, other issues also need to be considered. Processing may be driven by requirements such as the need to recover commodities like water, prevent release of toxic gases into the spacecraft environment, planetary protection requirements, and interface loads.