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Technical Paper

Fecal Simulant Delivery Systems for Parabolic Flight Testing of the Flexible Membrane Commode

2009-07-12
2009-01-2343
The Flexible Membrane Commode (FMC) is an alternative waste management system designed to address the severe mass restrictions on the Orion vehicle. The concept includes a deployable seat and single use, three layer bags that employ air flow to draw solids away from the body and safely contain them in disposable bags.1 Simulated microgravity testing of the system was performed during two separate parabolic flight campaigns in July and August of 2008. Experimental objectives included verifying the waste fill procedures in reduced gravity, characterizing waste behavior during the filling process, and comparison of the results with model predictions. In addition the operational procedure for bag installation, removal, and sealing were assessed. 2 A difficult operational requirement concerns the delivery of the fecal waste simulant into the upper area of the bag in a manner that faithfully simulates human defecation.
Technical Paper

Compaction and Drying in a Low-Volume, Deployable Commode

2007-07-09
2007-01-3264
We present a device for collecting and storing feces in microgravity that is user-friendly yet suitable for spacecraft in which cabin volume and mass are constrained. On Apollo missions, the commode function was served using disposable plastic bags, which proved time-consuming and caused odor problems. On Skylab, the space shuttle, and the International Space Station, toilets have used airflow beneath a seat to control odors and collect feces. We propose to incorporate airflow into a system of self-compacting, self-drying collection and stowage bags, providing the benefits of previous commodes while minimizing mass and volume. Each collection bag consists of an inner layer of hydrophobic membrane that is permeable to air but not liquid or solid waste, an outer layer of impermeable plastic, and a collapsible spacer separating the inner and outer layers. Filled bags are connected to space vacuum, compacting and drying their contents.
Journal Article

Waste Management Technology and the Drivers for Space Missions

2008-06-29
2008-01-2047
Since the mid 1980s, NASA has developed advanced waste management technologies that collect and process waste. These technologies include incineration, hydrothermal oxidation, pyrolysis, electrochemical oxidation, activated carbon production, brine dewatering, slurry bioreactor oxidation, composting, NOx control, compaction, and waste collection. Some of these technologies recover resources such as water, oxygen, nitrogen, carbon dioxide, carbon, fuels, and nutrients. Other technologies such as the Waste Collection System (WCS - the commode) collect waste for storage or processing. The need for waste processing varies greatly depending upon the mission scenario. This paper reviews the waste management technology development activities conducted by NASA since the mid 1980s and explores the drivers that determine the application of these technologies to future missions.
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