Recommendations for Clothing Systems for Advanced Missions
Clothing can constitute a major logistical problem for advanced missions. Current and historical clothing systems for space missions have been assessed, as has the viability of using a washing machine to clean (recycle) clothing. Modern fabrics can reduce the mass and increase the functionality of clothing, including reducing the risk of fire, for all missions. The increased cost of acquisition of even high tech commercial off the shelf (COTS) items is trivial compared to the cost of shipping the clothing and disposing of it as trash. Washing can be cost effective when water is recycled efficiently, provided the mission is long enough. The breakeven time for clothes-washing depends on the specifics of the mission, particularly the mass equivalencies of infrastructure, but is of the order of weeks rather than years.