Europe is now implementing the COLUMBUS APM programme. The more ambitious planning of an European Free Flyer and Lunar mission are under orientation. Timewise, this gives some relief from the challenges for the Environmental Control and Life Support System (ECLSS). However, some of these challenging new technologies have already been subject of development programmes in the past, others which will be reported in this paper are currently under investigation.
To regain the oxygen from the metabolic process a physicochemical system is under development. The selected chain is the CO2 concentration with a solid amine resin, the CO2 reduction via Sabatier reaction and the oxygen recovery by water electrolysis with fixed alkine electrolysis.
To prove the concept a test bench has been built, starting in a first step with the set up of a CO2 Processing S/S (CO2 concentrator, CO2 management, CO2 reduction assembly). The current development status (design/test results) of this programme are described.
Initial results of vacuum desorbed solid amine investigations for a possible open loop application are reported.
Furthermore very recent investigations to improve the CO2 cracking process using a Low Temperature Sabatier Process reaction are presented.
Finally, comparative testing at Dornier of Russian Sabatier Hardware, developed by Niichimmash for the space station MIR is described in this paper.