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Technical Paper

Concept for a Life Support System Testbed in Space

The concept of a general purpose life support system testbed for use in space grew out of considerations arising from the recent consolidation of NASA's Advanced Life Support (ALS) Systems programs. Both the physical-chemical and the biological approaches to regenerative life support will require significant amounts of in-space testing in order to prepare for the final development of systems for human life support. Considerations of the technical requirements and rationales for in-space testing has led to the concept of a common testbed that will allow faster and less expensive long duration tests.
Technical Paper

Advanced Development of the Direct Osmotic Concentration System

Direct osmotic concentration (DOC) is an integrated membrane treatment process designed for the reclamation of spacecraft wastewater. The system includes forward osmosis (FO), membrane evaporation, reverse osmosis (RO) and an aqueous phase catalytic oxidation (APCO) post-treatment unit. This document describes progress in the third year of a four year project to advance hardware maturity of this technology to a level appropriate for human rated testing. The current status of construction and testing of the final deliverable is covered and preliminary calculations of equivalent system mass are funished.
Technical Paper

Air and Water Recycling System Development for a Long Duration Lunar Base

Stored air and water will be sufficient for Crew Exploration Vehicle visits to the International Space Station and for brief missions to the moon, but an air and water recycling system will be needed to reduce cost for a long duration lunar base and for exploration of Mars. The air and water recycling system developed for the International Space Station is substantially adequate but it has not yet been used in operations and it was not designed for the much higher launch costs and reliability requirements of moon and Mars missions. Significant time and development effort, including long duration testing, is needed to provide a flawless air and water recycling system for a long duration lunar base. It would be beneficial to demonstrate air and water recycling as early as the initial lunar surface missions.
Technical Paper

Mars Transit Life Support

This paper considers the design of a life support system for transit to Mars and return to Earth. Because of the extremely high cost of launching mass to Mars, the Mars transit life support system must minimize the amount of oxygen, water, and food transported. The three basic ways to provide life support are to directly supply all oxygen and water, or to recycle them using physicochemical equipment, or to produce them incidentally while growing food using crop plants. Comparing the costs of these three approaches shows that physicochemical recycling of oxygen and water is least costly for a Mars transit mission. The long mission duration also requires that the Mars transit life support system have high reliability and maintainability. Mars transit life support cannot make use of planetary resources or gravity. It should be tested in space on the International Space Station (ISS).
Technical Paper

The Development of the Vapor Phase Catalytic Ammonia Removal (VPCAR) Engineering Development Unit

This paper presents the results of a program to develop the next generation Vapor Phase Catalytic Ammonia Removal (VPCAR) system. VPCAR is a spacecraft water recycling system designed by NASA and constructed by Water Reuse Technology Inc. The technology has been identified by NASA to be the next generation water recycling system [1]. It is designed specifically for a Mars transit vehicle mission. This paper provides a description of the process and an evaluation of the performance of the new system. The equivalent system mass (ESM) is calculated and compared to the existing state-of-the art. A description of the contracting mechanism used to construct the new system is also provided.
Technical Paper

Air and Water System (AWS) Design and Technology Selection for the Vision for Space Exploration

This paper considers system design and technology selection for the crew air and water recycling systems to be used in long duration human space exploration. The ultimate objective is to identify the air and water technologies likely to be used for the vision for space exploration and to suggest alternate technologies that should be developed. The approach is to conduct a preliminary systems engineering analysis, beginning with the Air and Water System (AWS) requirements and the system mass balance, and then to define the functional architecture, review the current International Space Station (ISS) technologies, and suggest alternate technologies.
Journal Article

Lightweight Contingency Water Recovery System Concept Development

The Lightweight Contingency Water Recovery System (LWC-WRS) harvests water from various sources in or around the Orion spacecraft in order to provide contingency water at a substantial mass savings when compared to stored emergency water supplies. The system uses activated carbon treatment (for urine) followed by forward osmosis (FO). The LWC-WRS recovers water from a variety of contaminated sources by directly processing it into a fortified (electrolyte and caloric) drink. Primary target water sources are urine, seawater, and other on board vehicle waters (often referred to as technical waters). The product drink provides hydration, electrolytes, and caloric requirements for crew consumption. The system hardware consists of a urine collection device containing an activated carbon matrix (Stage 1) and an FO membrane treatment element (or bag) which contains an internally mounted cellulose triacetate membrane (Stage 2).