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Technical Paper

Mir Space Station Trace Contaminant Assessment

Eight SUMMA passivated sampling canisters were shipped to the Russian Space Station Mir in February of 1995 to assess ambient trace contaminant concentrations. Prior to flight, the canisters were injected with isotope labeled surrogates and internal standards to measure potential negative impacts on measurement accuracy caused by the trip environmental conditions of launch and return. Three duplicate canister samples were collected in parallel with Russian sorbent samples to acquire data for comparative purposes. A total of 32 target and 13 non-target volatile compounds were detected in each of the samples analyzed. The concentrations of the compounds remained relatively consistent for the three sampling events, and all of the concentrations of detected contaminants were well below both US and Russian Spacecraft Maximum Allowable Concentrations (SMAC). Five different fluorocarbons were consistently detected at relatively high concentrations.