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Technical Paper

Reduction in the Iodine Content of Shuttle Drinking Water: Lessons Learned

1999-07-12
1999-01-2117
Iodine is the disinfectant used in U.S. spacecraft potable water systems. Recent long-term testing on human subjects has raised concerns about excessive iodine consumption. Efforts to reduce iodine consumption by Shuttle crews were initiated on STS-87, using hardware originally designed to deiodinate Shuttle water prior to transfer to the Mir Space Station. This hardware has several negative aspects when used for Shuttle galley operations, and efforts to develop a practical alternative were initiated under a compressed development schedule. The alternative Low Iodine Residual System (LIRS) was flown as a Detailed Test Objective on STS-95. On-orbit, the LIRS imparted an adverse taste to the water due to the presence of trialkylamines that had not been detected during development and certification testing. A post-flight investigation revealed that the trialkylamines were released during gamma sterilization of the LIRS resin materials.
Technical Paper

Humidity Condensate Sampling System for Shuttle, Mir and International Space Station

1998-07-13
981764
Archival sampling of potable water and condensate for ground laboratory analysis has been an important part of the Shuttle-Mir program because of coolant leaks and other events on Mir that have affected water quality. We report here the development of and preliminary results from a novel device for single phase humidity condensate collection at system pressures. The sampler consists of a commercial-off-the-shelf Teflon® bladder and a custom reinforced Nomex® restraint that is sized properly to absorb the stress of applied pressures. A plastic Luer-Lock disconnect, with poppet actuated by a mating Luer-Lock fitting, prevents the contents from being spilled during transport. In principle, a sampler of any volume can be designed. The empty mass of the reusable one-liter sampler is only 63 grams. Several designs were pressure tested and found to withstand more than 3 atmospheres well in excess of typical spacecraft water or wastewater system pressures.
Technical Paper

Water Analysis Results from Phase II of the NASA Early Human Testing Initiative 30-Day Closed Chamber Test

1997-07-01
972555
An important milestone in the ongoing effort by NASA to develop and refine closed-loop water recycling systems for human space flight was reached during the summer of 1996 with the successful completion of Phase II of the Lunar Mars Life Support Testing Program at Johnson Space Center. Part of Phase II involved testing a water-recycling system in a closed test chamber continuously occupied by four human subjects for thirty days. The Phase II crew began the test with a supply of water that had been processed and certified for human use. As the test progressed, humidity condensate, urine, and wastewater from personal hygiene and housekeeping activities were reclaimed and reused several times. Samples were collected from various points in the reclamation process during the thirty day test. The data verified the water-processing hardware can reliably remove wastewater contaminants and produce reclaimed water that meets NASA standards for hygiene- and potable-quality water.
Technical Paper

Potable Water Treatment and Transfer from Shuttle to Mir

1997-07-01
972461
To satisfy a requirement to supply water to Mir station, a process for treating iodinated water on the Shuttle was developed and implemented. The treatment system consists of packed columns for removing iodine and a syringe-based injection system for adding ionic silver, the biocide used in Mir water. Technical and potable grade water is produced and transferred in batches using collapsible 44-liter contingency water containers (CWCs). Silver is added to the water via injection of a solution from preloaded syringes. Minerals are also added to water destined for drinking. During the previous four Shuttle-Mir docking missions a total of 2781 liters (735 gallons) of water produced by the Shuttle fuel cells was processed using this method and transferred to Mir. To verify the quality of the processed water, samples were collected during flight and returned for chemical analysis.
Technical Paper

Development and Testing of the Microwave Sterilizable Access Port Prototype

1996-07-01
961567
The ability to aseptically remove samples and products, and the capability for addition of materials to sterile or otherwise microbially susceptible systems have always been compromised by the lack of a reliable means of sterilizing the mating fixtures. Cultures of mammalian cells are particularly vulnerable to microbial contamination due to the complexity of nutrient media and the lengthy periods required for cell growth. The Microwave Sterilizable Access Port has been developed to overcome this limitation. The system consists of three primary components: a microwave power source, a combined sterilization chamber/in-line valve port assembly, and a specimen transfer interface. Microwave energy is transmitted via coaxial cable to a small pressurized chamber that serves as a sterile transition between the surrounding environment and the system during transfer of materials.
Technical Paper

Microbiological Analysis of Water in Space

1995-07-01
951683
One of the proposed methods for monitoring the microbial quality of the water supply aboard the International Space Station is membrane filtration. We adapted this method for space flight by using an off-the-shelf filter unit developed by Millipore. This sealed unit allows liquid to be filtered through a 0.45 μm cellulose acetate filter that sits atop an absorbent pad to which growth medium is added. We combined a tetrazolium dye with R2A medium to allow microbial colonies to be seen easily, and modified the medium to remain stable over 70 weeks at 25°C. This hardware was assembled and tested in the laboratory and during parabolic flight; a modified version was then flown on STS-66. After the STS-66 mission, a back-up plastic syringe and an all-metal syringe pump were added to the kit, and the hardware was used successfully to evaluate water quality aboard the Russian Mir space station.
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

Depletion of Biocidal Iodine in a Stainless Steel Water System

1994-06-01
941391
Iodine depletion in a simulated water storage tank and distribution system was examined to support a larger research program aimed at developing disinfection methods for spacecraft potable water systems. The main objective of this study was to determine the rate of iodine depletion with respect to the surface area of the stainless steel components contacting iodinated water. Two model configurations were tested. The first, representing a storage and distribution system, consisted of a stainless steel bellows tank, a coil of stainless steel tubing and valves to isolate the components. The second represented segments of a water distribution system and consisted of eight individual lengths of 21-6-9 stainless tubing similar to that used in the Shuttle Orbiter. The tubing has a relatively high and constant surface area to volume ratio (S/V) and the bellows tank a lower and variable S/V.
Technical Paper

GC/MS and CE Methods for the Analysis of Trace Organic Acids in Reclaimed Water Supplies

1994-06-01
941392
The objective of this study was to investigate combining GC/MS and CE methods to allow sub-mg/L levels of organic acids to be determined in various water samples. This study also served as a basis for evaluating these instruments for in-flight spacecraft water-quality monitoring and to help determine the modifications needed to convert terrestrial hardware for use in microgravity environments. This paper reports on current GC/MS and CE method development and data generated from some recent spacecraft-related water samples. Plans for further method development are also discussed.
Technical Paper

Advanced Development of the Regenerative Microbial Check Valve

1993-07-01
932175
The Microbial Check Valve (MCV) is a reloadable flow-through canister containing iodinated ion exchange resin, which is used aboard the Shuttle Orbiter as a disinfectant to maintain water potability. The MCV exhibits a significant contact kill and imparts a biocidal residual I2 concentration to the effluent. MCVs in current use have nominal 30 day lives. MCVs baselined for Space Station Freedom will have 90 day lives, and will require replacement 120 times over 30 years. Means to extend MCV life are desirable to minimize resupply penalties. New technology has been developed for fully autonomous in situ regeneration of an expended MCV canister. The Regenerative Microbial Check Valve (RMCV) consists of an MCV, a packed bed of crystalline I2, a flow diverter valve, an in-line iodine monitor and a microcontroller. During regeneration, flow is directed first through the packed I2 bed and then into the MCV where the resin is replenished.
Technical Paper

Electrochemical Ozone Generator for In Situ Sterilization of Potable Water and Wastewater

1993-07-01
932177
Disinfection of water and wastewater was proven to be feasible using a Breadboard Electrochemical Ozone Generator (EOG). A static gas/liquid separator, containing a microporous, hydrophobic membrane, was tested with the Breadboard EOG, and was found to increase the concentration of the ozone (O3) dissolved in the water. Distilled water and selected wastewaters were disinfected, achieving dissolved O3 concentrations up to 3 mg/L. The hardware is capable of operating in 0-g and 1-g environments. An end-item Electrochemical Ozonator (EO), sized to disinfect 116 kg of potable water per day, was projected to weigh 1.2 kg and consume only 18.5 W.
Technical Paper

Regenerable Microbial Check Valve: Life Cycle Tests Results

1992-07-01
921316
The Microbial Check Valve (MCV) is a canister containing an iodinated ion exchange resin and is used on the Shuttle Orbiter to provide microbial control of potable water. The MCV provides a significant contact kill, and imparts a biocidal iodine residual to the water. The Orbiter MCV has a design life of 30 days. For longer duration applications, such as Space Station Freedom, an extended life is desirable to avoid resupply penalties. A method of in situ MCV regeneration with elemental iodine is being developed. During regeneration water en route to the MCV first passes through a crystalline iodine bed where a concentration between 200 - 300 mg/L I2 is attained. When introduced into the MCV, this high concentration causes an equilibrium shift towards iodine loading, effecting regeneration of the resin. After regeneration normal flow is re-established. Life cycle regeneration testing is currently in progress.
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 and (Evidence for) Destruction of Biofilm with Pseudomonas aeruginosa as Architect

1991-07-01
911404
Disinfection and maintenance of an acceptable level of asepsis in spacecraft potable water delivery systems is a formidable task. The major area of research for this project has been to monitor the formation and growth of biofilm, and biofilm attached microorganisms, on stainless steel surfaces (specifically coupons), and the use of ozone for the elimination of these species in a closed loop system. A number of different techniques have been utilized during the course of a typical run. Scraping and sonication of coupon surfaces with subsequent plating as well as epifluorescence microscopy have been utilized to enumerate biofilm protected Pseudomonas aeruginosa. In addition, scanning electron microscopy is the method of choice to examine the integrity of the biofilm. For ozone determinations, the indigo decolorization spectrophotometric method seems most reliable. Both high- and low-nutrient cultured P. aeruginosa organisms were the target species for the ozone disinfection experiments.
Technical Paper

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

1991-07-01
911403
The ability of iodine to maintain microbial water quality in a simulated spacecraft water system is being studied. An iodine level of about 2.0 mg/L is maintained by passing ultrapure influent water through an iodinated ion exchange resin. Six liters are withdrawn daily and the chemical and microbial quality of the water is monitored regularly. Stainless steel coupons used to monitor biofilm formation are being analyzed by culture methods, epifluorescence microscopy, and scanning electron microscopy. Results from the first two years of operation show a single episode of high bacterial colony counts in the iodinated system. This growth was apparently controlled by replacing the iodinated ion exchange resin. Scanning electron microscopy indicates that the iodine has limited but not completely eliminated the formation of biofilm during the first two years of operation.
Technical Paper

Regenerable Biocide Delivery Unit

1991-07-01
911406
The Microbial Check Valve (MCV) is used on the Space Shuttle to impart an iodine residual to the drinking water to maintain microbial control. Approximately twenty MCV locations have been identified in the Space Station Freedom design, each with a 90 day life. This translates to 2400 replacement units in 30 years of operation. An in situ regeneration concept has been demonstrated that will reduce this replacement requirement to less than 300 units based on data to date and potentially fewer as further regenerations are accomplished. A totally automated system will result in significant savings in crew time, resupply requirements and replacement costs. An additional feature of the device is the ability to provide a concentrated biocide source (200 mg/liter of I2) that can be used to superiodinate systems routinely or after a microbial upset. This program was accomplished under NASA Contract Number NAS9-18113.
Technical Paper

Space Station Environmental Health System Water Quality Monitoring

1990-07-01
901351
One of the unique aspects of the Space Station is that it will be a totally encapsulated environment and the air and water supplies will be reclaimed for reuse. The Environmental Health System, a subsystem of CHeCS (Crew Health Care System), must monitor the air and water on board the Space Station Freedom to verify that the quality is adequate for crew safety. Specifically, the Water Quality Subsystem will analyze the potable and hygiene water supplies regularly for organic, inorganic, particulate, and microbial contamination. The equipment selected to perform these analyses will be commercially available instruments which will be converted for use on board the Space Station Freedom. Therefore, the commercial hardware will be analyzed to identify the gravity dependent functions and modified to eliminate them.
Technical Paper

Recent Experiences with Iodine Water Disinfection in Shuttle

1990-07-01
901356
Microbial proliferation in the STS potable water system is prevented by maintaining a 2-5 ppm iodine residual. The iodine is added to fuel cell water by an iodinated ion exchange resin in the Microbial Check Valve (MCV). Crew comments indicated excessive iodine in the potable water. To better define the problem, a method of in-flight iodine analysis was developed. Inflight analysis during STS-30 and STS-28 indicated iodine residuals were generally in the 9-13 ppm range. It was determined that the high iodine residual was caused by MCV influent temperatures in excess of 120 °F. This is well above the MCV operating range of 65-90 °F. The solution to this problem was to develop a resin suitable for the higher temperatures. Since 8 months were required to formulate a MCV resin suitable for the higher temperatures, a temporary solution was necessary. Two additional MCV's were installed on the chilled and ambient water lines leading into the galley to remove the excess iodine.
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