1994-06-01

Conceptual Considerations on Crew Aspects in Rescue Type Space Vehicles 941311

Latest developments of the manned European space transportation system programs have shifted emphasis from the winged vehicles (HERMES) towards unwinged, capsule type vehicles like the Assured Crew Return Vehicle (ACRV) or the Crew Transfer Vehicle (CTV). While the work on the CTV is still in an early stage, a Phase A study was performed on the ACRV in late 1992 to 1993, detailing already the major subsystem layouts, among these the Environmental Control and Life Support System and Crew Systems such as crew seats, transport couches for injured crew members or displays and controls.
Due to the particular set of requirements on this rescue vehicle, it quickly became evident that optimal layouts of these crew aspect subsystems are not necessarily easily transferable from rather well known designs of e.g. a space station. Instead, different and specific requirements such as:
  • flexibility in accommodation of a crew from 1 to 8 members in a small confinement
  • limited volume and power
  • provision of a shirt sleeve environment inside the vehicle
  • medical facilities for the treatment of ill or injured crew members
  • long dormant mode of the vehicle attached to the space station
  • rapid activation of the vehicle in case of an emergency
also require specific solutions, which may significantly differ from the known standards.
Some examples of those features favoured for a rescue vehicle are:
  • simple, reliable solutions for atmosphere temperature and humidity control including for instance a passive humidity removal by consumables
  • specific features for contaminant removal, in particular for the event of a fire suppression.

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