Analysis to Characterize Fresh vs. Aged Shuttle Orbiter Lithium Hydroxide Performance 2006-01-2048
A recent endeavor has been undertaken to understand the performance of Shuttle Orbiter lithium hydroxide (LiOH) canisters used during STS-114. During this mission, the crew relied on both fresh LiOH and aged LiOH stored on the International Space Station (ISS). Due to the Space Shuttle being grounded after the Columbia accident, the canisters stored on ISS had passed the certified two-year shelf life and were considered expired. The focus of the analysis was to determine the performance of expired LiOH in relation to fresh LiOH and the accuracy of previous predictions1 regarding the performance of expired LiOH. Understanding the performance of expired LiOH is crucial in enabling the extension of the useful life of LiOH canisters. Extending the shelf life has ramifications not only in the current Shuttle program, but in regard to future exploration missions fulfilling the Vision for Space Exploration as well.