Local Resource Utilization and Integration into Advanced Mission's LSS 881053
Key design drivers of the Life Support System (LSS) of advanced manned space missions are duration, distance from Earth and cost. All drive the LSS design towards the elimination of expendables and resupply requirements (from Earth). Two approaches can be taken towards achieving this goal: (1) increasing the LSS closure - via the use of regenerative technologies and (2) utilization of local resources - via the use of LSS specific technologies and/or the use of products and by-products from other systems and activities (e.g., propulsion system and manufacturing processes). Local resource utilization will be required to completely eliminate resupply requirements from Earth (e.g., to make up atmospheric losses as a result of leakage, airlock uses, etc.). Also, in some instances, it may be advantageous to utilize local resources instead of regenerative technologies. This paper provides an introduction and overview to local resource utilization related to the LSS of advanced missions.
“Developing fully self-sustaining biospheres independent of Earth… it is essential that life support be maintained using on-site materials, without reliance on long supply lines.”