Biological and Physical-Chemical Life Support Systems Integration - Results of the Lunar Mars Life Support Phase III Test 981708

The Lunar Mars Life Support Test Project (LMLSTP) Phase III test was the final test in a series of tests conducted to evaluate regenerative life support systems performance over increasingly longer durations. The Phase III test broke new ground for the U.S. Space Program by being the first test to look at integration of biological and physical-chemical systems for air, water and solid waste recovery for a crew of four for 91 days. Microbial bioreactors were used as the first step in the water recovery system (WRS). This biologically based WRS continuously recovered 100% of the water used by the crew consistent with NASA's strict potable standards. The air revitalization system was a combination of physical-chemical hardware and wheat plants which worked together to remove and reduce the crew's metabolically produced carbon dioxide and provide oxygen. In addition, for the first time, the crew's fecal matter was used as a source of carbon to form carbon dioxide in an incineration system. The carbon dioxide was then used to support the plants for a portion of the test. After harvesting of the wheat, it was provided to the crew in the form of flour to use in baking bread. This paper will describe the integration of the systems and the mass flows between them. In addition, it will identify areas where further work needs to be done in the subsystem development to aid development of the overall integrated life support system. Finally, it will define the areas where work on the integration of the systems would give the most payback.


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