1997-07-14

O2 Generation: A Key System for Extended Manned Space Missions 972561

The on-board production of oxygen is demanded for future long-term missions such as International Space Station, Lunar base and missions to Mars.The needed oxygen can be recovered by electrolysing the water produced by the carbon dioxide processing system or other on-board water sources like water condensate. This way the oxygen loop will be closed.Since 1985 in a harmonised programme sponsored by the European Space Agency (ESA) and the German Space Agency (DARA), the required technology for an air revitalisation system (ARS) is being developed. The system is based on carbon dioxide concentration using solid amine water steam desorption, carbon dioxide hydrogenation (Sabatier) and fixed alkaline electrolysis.This paper reports on the manufacturing and testing of the fixed alkaline electrolyser (FAE) system designed for a 3-person capability and it discusses the current status of the ARS.

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