Equivalencies and Applicability of Advanced Life Support Technologies to Exploration Missions 2005-01-2915
Exploration missions are expected to reach the 100-day class by Spiral 3, 1000-day class for Spiral 4, and perhaps longer for later spirals. Depending on the equivalencies achieved, bioregenerative life support can offer cost effectiveness as well as autonomy for 1000-day class missions, and will need to be demonstrated in space on Spiral 3 missions to support application to the longer missions. Several other technologies can also reduce the cost of life support in space by factors in the single digits, or perhaps even an order of magnitude. However, these improvements will not come easily, requiring advances in both life support technology and mission infrastructure.
Equivalencies (infrastructure cost factors) are recommended for the 2020 to 2030 timeframe anticipated for Spirals 3 and 4. Cost effectiveness of several life support related technologies are assessed, and a life support metric is calculated based on this data. Critical development efforts to support these capabilities are identified.