1991-07-01

Bioregenerative Life Support: The Initial CELSS Reference Configuration 911420

As extended manned space missions and permanent bases become integral components of future space exploration, a Controlled Ecological Life Support System (CELSS) could provide numerous advantages, including reduced launch mass over the life of a long-term mission, fewer and less time-critical logistic revisits, and a better crew environment (e.g., cleaner air, water, and fresh food). Because of the enabling nature of this technology it is important that it be proven and available to mission planners as soon as practicable, consistent with the requirements of the overall exploration strategy. The next major step in developing an operational CELSS is the development of a human-rated CELSS ground-based demonstrator that will supply the proof-of-concept for the use of a CELSS on a mission. To guide the development of a ground-based demonstrator and address the fundamental problems involved in operating a CELSS, a reference configuration for such a system has been derived for use in the NASA CELSS Program. This configuration will provide a common reference to investigators, allowing sub-process results to be more readily compared and system-level research and modelling efforts to be focused toward advancing knowledge on, or in comparison to, a common system. This paper presents the details of the initial reference system, one that is sure to be modified in subsequent work done within the Program.

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