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Technical Paper

Decompression Gas Phase Formation in Simulated Null Gravity

1995-07-01
951590
The incidence of decompression sickness (DCS) in space appears to be less than that predicted to occur on the basis of ground based altitude chamber trials. Our current work uses six hours of chair rest adynamia and likewise produces fewer gas bubbles when compared to standing in a cross over study. Mild exercise during oxygen prebreathe is also very efficacious in reducing DCS and bubble formation (measured by Doppler ultrasound). The effect is postulated to be the result of the alteration in the populations of tissue micronuclei such that the radii are reduced. Surface tension then becomes too great for bubble growth from the existing inert gas partial pressures.
Technical Paper

Regenerative Water Recovery System Testing and Model Correlation

1997-07-01
972550
Biological wastewater processing has been under investigation by AlliedSignal Aerospace and NASA Johnson Space Center (JSC) for future use in space. Testing at JSC in the Hybrid Regenerative Water Recovery System (HRWRS) in preparation for future closed human testing has been performed. Computer models have been developed to aid in the design of a new four-person immobilized cell bioreactor. The design of the reactor and validation of the computer model is presented. In addition, the total organic carbon (TOC) computer model has been expanded to begin investigation of nitrification. This model is being developed to identify the key parameters of the nitrification process, and to improve the design and operating conditions of nitrifying bioreactors. In addition, the model can be used as a design tool to rapidly predict the effects of changes in operational conditions and reactor design, significantly reducing the number and duration of experiments required.
Technical Paper

Modifications of Physiological Processes Concerning Extravehicular Activity in Microgravity

1994-06-01
941334
The incidence of DCS in null gravity appears to be considerably less than predicted by 1-g experiments. In NASA studies in 1-g, 83% of the incidents of DCS occur in the legs. We report first on a study with a crossover design that indicated a considerable reduction in the decompression Doppler bubble grade in the lower extremities in subjects in simulated microgravity (bed rest) as compared to themselves when ambulatory in unit gravity. Second we describe the results of a cardiovascular deconditioning study using a tail-suspended rat model. Since there may be a reduction in bubble production in 0-g, this would reduce the possibility of acquiring neurological DCS, especially by arterial gas embolism. Further, cardiovascular deconditioning appears to reduce the pulmonary artery hypertension (secondary to gas embolization) necessary to effect arterialization of bubbles.
Technical Paper

Evaluation of Methods for Remediating Biofilms in Spacecraft Potable Water Systems

1994-06-01
941388
Controlling microbial growth and biofilm formation in spacecraft water-distribution systems is necessary to protect the health of the crew. Methods to decontaminate the water system in flight may be needed to support long-term missions. We evaluated the ability of iodine and ozone to kill attached bacteria and remove biofilms formed on stainless steel coupons. The biofilms were developed by placing the coupons in a manifold attached to the effluent line of a simulated spacecraft water-distribution system. After biofilms were established, the coupons were removed and placed in a treatment manifold in a separate water treatment system where they were exposed to the chemical treatments for various periods. Disinfection efficiency over time was measured by counting the bacteria that could be recovered from the coupons using a sonication and plate count technique. Scanning electron microscopy was also used to determine whether the treatments actually removed the biofilm.
Technical Paper

Molecular Sieve CO2 Removal Systems for Future Missions: Test Results and Alternative Designs

1994-06-01
941396
Reversible adsorption on zeolite molecular sieve material allows selective removal of carbon dioxide (CO2) from spacecraft air without the use of expendables. The four-bed molecular sieve (4BMS) CO2 removal subsystem chosen for use on space station is based on proven Skylab technology and provides continuous CO2 removal from the cabin atmosphere and concentration for further processing downstream or venting overboard. A 4BMS subsystem has also been chosen to remove CO2 from air in the Systems Integration Research Facility (SIRF) at NASA/Johnson Space Center (JSC). After installation in the SIRF in 1992, the subsystem underwent extensive testing in which cycle time, process air flow rate, and process air inlet CO2 composition were varied. In order to obtain performance data required for integration, the subsystem was operated under both nominal and off-nominal conditions. Results of this testing are presented.
Technical Paper

Neutral Buoyancy Portable Life Support System Performance Study

1991-07-01
911346
A system performance study on a portable life support system being developed for use in the Weightless Environment Training Facility (WETF) and the Neutral Buoyancy Laboratory (NBL) has been completed. The Neutral Buoyancy Portable Life Support System (NBPLSS) will provide life support to suited astronauts training for extravehicular activity (EVA) under water without the use of umbilicals. The basic configuration is characterized by the use of medium pressure (200 - 300 psi) cryogen (liquid nitrogen/oxygen mixture) which provides cooling within the Extravehicular Mobility Unit (EMU), the momentum which enables flow in the vent loop, and oxygen for breathing. NBPLSS performance was analyzed by using a modified Metabolic Man program to compare competing configurations. Maximum sustainable steady state metabolic rates and transient performance based on a typical WETF metabolic rate profile were determined and compared.
Technical Paper

Dehumidification Via Membrane Separation for Space-Based Applications

1988-07-01
881037
This paper describes the development of a membrane-based dehumidification process for space-based applications, such as spacecraft cabins and extra-vehicular-activity (EVA) space suits. Results presented are from 1) screening tests conducted to determine the efficacy of various membranes to separate water vapor from air, and 2) parametric and long-term tests of membranes operated at conditions that simulate the range of environmental conditions (e.g., temperature and relative humidity [RH]) expected in the planned space station. Also included in this paper is a discussion of preliminary designs of membrane-based dehumidification processes for the space station and EVA space suits. These designs result in compact and energy-efficient systems that offer significant advantages over conventional dehumidification processes.
Technical Paper

Operation of a Breadboard Liquid-Sorbent/Membrane-Contactor System for Removing Carbon Dioxide and Water Vapor from Air

1992-07-01
921321
Processes to remove and recover carbon dioxide (CO2) and water vapor from air are essential for successful long-duration space missions. This paper presents results of a developmental program focused on the use of a liquid- sorbent/membrane-contactor (LSMC) system for removal of CO2 and water vapor from air. In this system, air from the spacecraft cabin atmosphere is circulated through one side of a hollow-fiber membrane contactor. On the other side of the membrane contactor is flowed a liquid sorbent, which absorbs the CO2 and water vapor from the feed air. The liquid sorbent is then heated to desorb the CO2 and water vapor. The CO2 is subsequently removed from the system as a concentrated gas stream, whereas the water vapor is condensed, producing a water stream. A breadboard system based on this technology was designed and constructed. Tests showed that the LSMC breadboard system can produce a CO2 stream and a liquid- water stream.
Technical Paper

Biofilm Formation and Control in a Simulated Spacecraft Water System: Three Year Results

1992-07-01
921310
Two simulated spacecraft water systems are being used to evaluate the effectiveness of iodine for controlling microbial contamination within such systems. An iodine concentration of about 2.0 mg/L is maintained in one system by passing ultrapure water through an iodinated ion exchange resin. Stainless steel coupons with electropolished and mechanically-polished sides are being used to monitor biofilm formation. Results after three years of operation show a single episode of significant bacterial growth in the iodinated system when the iodine level dropped to 1.9 mg/L. This growth was apparently controlled by replacing the iodinated ion exchange resin, thereby increasing the iodine level. The second batch of resin has remained effective in controlling microbial growth down to an iodine level of 1.0 mg/L. Scanning electron microscopy indicates that the iodine has impeded but may have not completely eliminated the formation of biofilm.
Technical Paper

Development of the Advanced Life Support Systems Integration Research Facility at NASA's Johnson Space Center

1992-07-01
921317
Future NASA manned missions to the moon and Mars will require development of robust regenerative life support system technologies which offer high reliability and minimal resupply. To support the development of such systems, early ground-based test facilities will be required to demonstrate integrated, long-duration performance of candidate regenerative air revitalization, water recovery, and thermal management systems. The advanced life support Systems Integration Research Facility (SIRF) is one such test facility currently being developed at NASA's Johnson Space Center (JSC). The SIRF, when completed, will accommodate unmanned and subsequently manned integrated testing of advanced regenerative life support technologies at ambient and reduced atmospheric pressures.
Technical Paper

EVA Operational Enhancements and ASEM

1992-07-01
921341
Among the many firsts which will occur on STS-49, the maiden voyage of the Space Shuttle Endeavour, a Space Station Freedom (SSF) experiment entitled Assembly of Station by Extravehicular Activity (EVA) Methods (ASEM) promises to test the boundaries of EVA operational capabilities. Should the results be favorable, station and other major users of EVA stand to benefit from increased capabilities. Even the preparation for the ASEM experiment is serving as a pathfinder for complex SSF operations. This paper reviews the major tasks planned for ASEM and discusses the operational analogies investigators are attempting to draw between ASEM and SSF. How these findings may be applied to simplify station assembly and maintenance will also be discussed.
Technical Paper

Performance Evaluation of Candidate Space Suit Elements for the Next Generation Orbital EMU

1992-07-01
921344
The projections of increased Extravehicular Activity (EVA) operations for the Space Station Freedom (SSF) resulted in the development of advanced space suit technologies to increase EVA efficiency. To eliminate the overhead of denitrogenation, candidate higher-operating pressure suit technologies were developed. The AX-5 all metallic, multi-bearing technologies were developed at the Ames Research Center, and the Mk. III fabric and metallic technologies were developed at the Johnson Space Center. Following initial technology development, extensive tests and analyses were performed to evaluate all aspects of candidate technology performance. The current Space Shuttle space suit technologies were used as a baseline for evaluating those of the AX-5 and Mk. III. Tests included manned evaluations in the Weightless Environment Training Facility and KC-135 zero-gravity aircraft.
Technical Paper

Modeling of Membrane Processes for Air Revitalization and Water Recovery

1992-07-01
921352
Gas-separation and reverse-osmosis membrane models are being developed in conjunction with membrane testing at NASA JSC. The completed gas-separation membrane model extracts effective component permeabilities from multicomponent test data, and predicts the effects of flow configuration, operating conditions, and membrane dimensions on module performance. Variable feed- and permeate-side pressures are considered. The model has been applied to test data for hollow-fiber membrane modules with simulated cabin-air feeds. Results are presented for a membrane designed for air drying applications. Extracted permeabilities are used to predict the effect of operating conditions on water enrichment in the permeate. A first-order reverse-osmosis model has been applied to test data for spiral wound membrane modules with a simulated hygiene water feed. The model estimates an effective local component rejection coefficient under pseudo-steady-state conditions.
Technical Paper

Space Shuttle Crew Compartment Debris/Contamination

1992-07-01
921345
Debris in the Orbiter crew compartment of early Shuttle missions created crew health concerns and physiological discomfort, and was the cause of some equipment malfunctions. Debris from Orbiters during flight and processing was analyzed, quantized, and evaluated to determine its source. Records were kept on the amount of debris vacuumed by the crew during on-orbit cleaning and the amount found on air-cooled avionics boxes during ground turnaround. After ground turnaround operations at Kennedy Space Center and Palmdale were reviewed from a facility, materials use, and materials control standpoint, the following remedial steps were taken.
Technical Paper

Regenerative Life Support Systems Test Bed Performance: Lettuce Crop Characterization

1992-07-01
921391
Two crops of lettuce (Lactuca sativa cv. Waldmann's Green) were grown in the Regenerative Life Support Systems (RLSS) Test Bed at NASA's Johnson Space Center. The RLSS Test Bed is an atmospherically closed, controlled environment facility for the evaluation of regenerative life support systems using higher plants. The chamber encloses 10.6 m2 of growth area under cool-white fluorescent lamps. Lettuce was double seeded in 480 pots, each containing about 250 cm3 of calcined-clay substrate. Each pot was irrigated with half-strength Hoagland's nutrient solution at an average total applied amount of 2.5 and 1.8 liters pot-1, respectively, over each of the two 30-day crop tests. Average environmental and cultural conditions during both tests were 23°C air temperature, 72% relative humidity, 1000 ppm carbon dioxide (CO2), 16h light/8h dark photoperiod, and 356 μmol m-2s-1 photosynthetic photon flux.
Technical Paper

Design of a Water Electrolysis Flight Experiment

1993-07-01
932087
Supply of oxygen (O2) and hydrogen (H2) by electrolyzing water in space will play an important role in meeting the National Aeronautics and Space Administration's (NASA's) needs and goals for future space missions. Both O2 and H2 are envisioned to be used in a variety of processes including crew life support, spacecraft propulsion, extravehicular activity, electrical power generation/storage as well as in scientific experiment and manufacturing processes. Life Systems, Inc., in conjunction with NASA, has been developing an alkaline-based Static Feed Electrolyzer (SFE). During the development of the water electrolysis technology over the past 23 years, an extensive engineering and scientific data base has been assembled.
Technical Paper

First Lunar Outpost Extravehicular Life Support System Evaluation

1993-07-01
932188
A preliminary evaluation of several portable life support system (PLSS) concepts which could be used during the First Lunar Outpost (FLO) mission extravehicular activities (EVA's) has been performed. The weight, volume and consumables characteristics for the various PLSS concepts were estimated. Thermal effects of day and night EVA's on PLSS consumables usage and hardware requirements were evaluated. The benefit of adding a radiator and the total PLSS weight to be carried by the astronaut were also evaluated for each of the concepts. The results of the evaluation were used to provide baseline weight, volume and consumables characteristics of the PLSS to be used on the 45 day FLO mission. The benefit of radiators was shown to be substantial. Considerable consumables savings were predicted for EVA schedules with a high concentration of nighttime EVA's versus daytime EVA's.
Technical Paper

Controlled Ecological Life Support Systems Human-Rated Test Facility: An Overview

1993-07-01
932241
NASA's future missions to explore the solar system will be long-duration missions and could last years at a time. Human life support systems required for these missions must operate with very high reliability for long periods of time and must be highly regenerative, requiring minimum resupply. Such life support systems will make use of combining higher plants, microorganisms, and physicochemical processes to recycle air and water, process wastes, and produce food. Development of regenerative life support systems will be a pivotal capability for missions to the moon and Mars. One key step in the development process for these systems is the establishment of a human-rated test facility specifically tailored for evaluation of closed, regenerative life support systems--one in which long-duration testing can take place involving human test crews.
Technical Paper

Methodologies for Critical Body Organ Space Radiation Risk Assessments

1993-07-01
932211
One of the risks associated with long-term space flights is cancer incidence resulting from chronic exposure to space radiation. Assessment of incurred risk from radiation exposure requires quantifying the dose throughout the body. The space radiation exposure received by Space Shuttle astronauts is measured by thermoluminescent dosimeters (TLDs) worn during every mission. These dosimeters measure the absorbed dose to the skin, but the dose to internal organs is required for estimating the cancer risk induced by space radiation. A method to extrapolate these skin dose measurements to realistic organ specific dose estimates, using the Computerized Anatomical Man (CAM) and Computerized Anatomical Female (CAF) models, is discussed in detail. A transport code, which propagates high energy nucleon and charged particles, is combined with the CAM/CAF-generated shielding areal distributions to evaluate the absorbed dose at selected organ sites.
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