1984-07-01

Manned Space Station Environmental Control and Life Support System Computer-Aided Technology Assessment Program 840957

A description is given of a computer program developed at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Langley Research Center (LaRC) for the assessment of manned space station environmental control and life support systems (ECLSS) technology. The program methodology along with the data base and mission model variables are given for 17 candidate technologies that show potential for supplying metabolic oxygen and water on manned space missions. The data base includes metabolic design loads associated with crew activity, engineering design parameters for each technology option, and cost data required for candidate life cycle cost comparisons. The method for ranking the candidate options in order to provide recommendations for space station application or subsequent development is presented.
Examples are included to demonstrate the capability of the program to accommodate the analysis of evolving space station concepts as functions of technology readiness, crew size, resupply interval, mission duration, and life cycle costs. Results from the demonstration show that significant cost savings can be realized by closing both the metabolic oxygen and water recovery cycles. These savings are manifested as reductions in launch weight, launch volume, resupply consumables, and transportation-to-orbit costs. Candidate technologies are recommended for closing these cycles based upon the existing data base and specific assessment criteria. In addition, recommendations are made relative to continued development of the most viable candidate technology options as indicated by the assessment results.

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