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Journal Article

A History of Space Toxicology Mishaps: Lessons Learned and Risk Management

After several decades of human spaceflight, the community of space-faring nations has accumulated a diverse and sometimes harrowing history of toxicological events that have plagued human space endeavors almost from the very beginning. Some lessons have been learned in ground-based test beds and others were discovered the hard way - when human lives were at stake in space. From such lessons one can build a risk-management framework for toxicological events to minimize the probability of a harmful exposure, while recognizing that we cannot predict all possible events. Space toxicologists have learned that relatively harmless compounds can be converted by air revitalization systems into compounds that cause serious harm to the crew.
Technical Paper

Using a Sweating Manikin, Controlled by a Human Physiological Model, to Evaluate Liquid Cooling Garments

An Advanced Automotive Manikin (ADAM), is used to evaluate liquid cooling garments (LCG) for advanced space suits for extravehicular applications and launch and entry suits. The manikin is controlled by a finite-element physiological model of the human thermoregulatory system. ADAM's thermal response to a baseline LCG was measured.The local effectiveness of the LCG was determined. These new thermal comfort tools permit detailed, repeatable measurements and evaluation of LCGs. Results can extend to other personal protective clothing including HAZMAT suits, nuclear/biological/ chemical protective suits, fire protection suits, etc.
Technical Paper

Crew Exploration Vehicle Environmental Control and Life Support Fire Protection Approach

As part of preparing for the Crew Exploration Vehicle (CEV), the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) worked on developing the requirements to manage the fire risk. The new CEV poses unique challenges to current fire protection systems. The size and configuration of the vehicle resembles the Apollo capsule instead of the current Space Shuttle or the International Space Station. The smaller free air volume and fully cold plated avionic bays of the CEV requires a different approach in fire protection than the ones currently utilized. The fire protection approach discussed in this paper incorporates historical lessons learned and fire detection and suppression system design philosophy spanning from Apollo to the International Space Station.
Technical Paper

Improvement of Risk Assessment from Space Radiation Exposure for Future Space Exploration Missions

Protecting astronauts from space radiation exposure is an important challenge for mission design and operations for future exploration-class and long-duration missions. Crew members are exposed to sporadic solar particle events (SPEs) as well as to the continuous galactic cosmic radiation (GCR). If sufficient protection is not provided the radiation risk to crew members from SPEs could be significant. To improve exposure risk estimates and radiation protection from SPEs, detailed evaluations of radiation shielding properties are required. A model using a modern CAD tool ProE™, which is the leading engineering design platform at NASA, has been developed for this purpose. For the calculation of radiation exposure at a specific site, the cosine distribution was implemented to replicate the omnidirectional characteristic of the 4π particle flux on a surface.
Technical Paper

Access Systems for Partial Gravity Exploration & Rescue: Results from Prototype Testing in an Analog Environment

An EVA simulation with a medical contingency scenario was conducted in 2006 with the NASA Haughton-Mars and EVA Physiology System and Performance Projects, to develop medical contingency management and evacuation techniques for planetary surface exploration. A rescue/evacuation system to allow two rescuer astronauts to evacuate one incapacitated astronaut was evaluated. The rescue system was utilized effectively to extract an injured astronaut up a slope of15-25° and into a surface mobility rover for transport to a simulated habitat for advanced medical care. Further research is recommended to evaluate the effects of reduced gravity and to develop synergies with other surface systems for carrying out the contingency procedures.
Technical Paper

Weathering of Thermal Control Coatings

Spacecraft radiators reject heat to their surroundings. Radiators can be deployable or mounted on the body of the spacecraft. NASA's Crew Exploration Vehicle is to use body mounted radiators. Coatings play an important role in heat rejection. The coatings provide the radiator surface with the desired optical properties of low solar absorptance and high infrared emittance. These specialized surfaces are applied to the radiator panel in a number of ways, including conventional spraying, plasma spraying, or as an appliqué. Not specifically designed for a weathering environment, little is known about the durability of conventional paints, coatings, and appliqués upon exposure to weathering and subsequent exposure to solar wind and ultraviolet radiation exposure. In addition to maintaining their desired optical properties, the coatings must also continue to adhere to the underlying radiator panel.
Technical Paper

Solar Proton Event Observations at Mars with MARIE

The 2001 Mars Odyssey spacecraft Martian Radiation Environment Experiment (MARIE) is a solid-state silicon telescope high-energy particle detector designed to measure galactic cosmic radiation (GCR) and solar particle events (SPEs) in the 20 – 500 MeV/nucleon energy range. In this paper we discuss the instrument design and focus on the observations and measurements of SPEs at Mars. These are the first-ever SPE measurements at Mars. The measurements are compared with the geostationary GOES satellite SPE measurements. We also discuss some of the current interplanetary particle propagation and diffusion theories and models. The MARIE SPE measurements are compared with these existing models.
Technical Paper

Assessing Biofidelity of the Test Device for Human Occupant Restraint (THOR) Against Historic Human Volunteer Data

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is interested in characterizing the responses of THOR (test device for human occupant restraint) anthropometric test device (ATD) to representative loading acceleration pulse s. Test conditions were selected both for their applicability to anticipated NASA landing scenarios, and for comparison to human volunteer data previously collected by the United States Air Force (USAF). THOR impact testing was conducted in the fore-to-aft frontal (-x) and in the upward spinal (-z) directions with peak sled accelerations ranging from 8 to 12 G and rise times of 40, 70, and 100ms. Each test condition was paired with historical huma n data sets under similar test conditions that were also conducted on the Horizontal Impulse Accelerator (HIA). A correlation score was calculated for each THOR to human comparison using CORA (CORrelation and Analysis) software.
Technical Paper

Freeze Tolerant Radiator for Advanced EMU

The current Extravehicular Mobility Unit (EMU) system provides thermal control using a sublimator to reject both the heat produced by the astronaut's metabolic activity as well as the heat produced by the Portable Life Support Unit (PLSS). This sublimator vents up to eight pounds of water each Extravehicular Activity (EVA). If this load could be radiated to space, the amount of water that would need to be sublimated could be greatly reduced. There is enough surface area on the EMU that almost all of the heat can be rejected by radiation. Radiators, however, reject heat at a relatively constant rate, while the astronaut generates heat at a variable rate. To accommodate this variable heat load, NASA is developing a new freeze tolerant radiator where the tubes can selectively freeze to “turn down” the radiator and adjust to the heat rejection requirement. This radiator design significantly reduces the amount of expendable water needed for the sublimator.
Technical Paper

Atmospheric Monitoring Strategy for Ground Testing of Closed Ecological Life Support Systems

This paper reviews the evolution and current state of atmospheric monitoring on the International Space Station to provide context from which we can imagine a more advanced and integrated system. The unique environmental hazards of human space flight are identified and categorized into groups, taking into consideration the time required for the hazard to become a threat to human health or performance. The key functions of a comprehensive monitoring strategy for a closed ecological life support system are derived from past experience and a survey of currently available technologies for monitoring air quality. Finally, a system architecture is developed incorporating the lessons learned from ISS and other analogous closed life support systems. The paper concludes by presenting recommendations on how to proceed with requirements definition and conceptual design of an air monitoring system for exploration missions.
Technical Paper

The Impact of Trace Contaminants on the Shuttle Orbiter Regenerative CO2 Removal System

There is a possibility that trace contaminants in the Shuttle Orbiter cabin atmosphere may chemically react with amine beads found in the Regenerative Carbon Dioxide Removal System and degrade system performance. Two contaminant compounds were exposed to the amine beads, and performance changes were measured. Acetone was tested because it is sometimes found in small but appreciable quantities in the cabin, and it has chemical properties that make it a potential poison. Halon 1301 was tested because it is the fire extinguishant, and a discharge of a Halon canister would trigger high concentrations in the cabin. Acetone was shown to be weakly and reversibly adsorbed. It does not poison the bed, and the RCRS was shown to remove small quantities of acetone. Halon was shown to be inert to the amine. It does not poison the RCRS, and is not removed by the RCRS.
Technical Paper

Thermal Analysis of Compressible CO2 Flow for PFE TeSS Nozzle of Fire Detection System

A thermal analysis of the compressible carbon dioxide (CO2) flow for the Portable Fire Extinguisher (PFE) system has been performed. A SINDA/FLUINT model has been developed for this analysis. The model includes the PFE tank and the Temporary Sleep Station (TeSS) nozzle, and both have an initial temperature of 72 °F. In order to investigate the thermal effect on the nozzle due to discharging CO2, the PFE TeSS nozzle pipe has been divided into three segments. This model also includes heat transfer predictions for PFE tank inner and outer wall surfaces. The simulation results show that the CO2 discharge rates and component wall temperatures fall within the requirements for the PFE system. The simulation results also indicate that after 50 seconds, the remaining CO2 in the tank may be near the triple point (gas, liquid and solid) state and, therefore, restricts the flow.
Technical Paper

Micrometeoroid and Orbital Debris Enhancements of Shuttle Extravehicular Mobility Unit Thermal Micrometeoroid Garment

As NASA is preparing to extend man's reach into space, it is expected that astronauts will be required to spend more and more time exposed to the hazards of performing Extra-Vehicular Activity (EVA). One of these hazards includes the risk of the space suit bladder being penetrated by hypervelocity micrometeoroid and orbital debris (MMOD) particles. Therefore, it has become increasingly important to investigate new ways to improve the protectiveness of the current Extravehicular Mobility Unit (EMU) against MMOD penetration. ILC Dover conducted a NASA funded study into identifying methods of improving the current EMU protection. The first part of this evaluation focused on identifying how to increase the EMU shielding, selecting materials to accomplish this, and testing these materials to determine the best lay-up combinations to integrate into the current thermal micrometeoroid garment (TMG) design.
Technical Paper

Spacesuit Radiation Shield Design Methods

Meeting radiation protection requirements during EVA is predominantly an operational issue with some potential considerations for temporary shelter. The issue of spacesuit shielding is mainly guided by the potential of accidental exposure when operational and temporary shelter considerations fail to maintain exposures within operational limits. In this case, very high exposure levels are possible which could result in observable health effects and even be life threatening. Under these assumptions, potential spacesuit radiation exposures have been studied using known historical solar particle events to gain insight on the usefulness of modification of spacesuit design in which the control of skin exposure is a critical design issue and reduction of blood forming organ exposure is desirable.
Technical Paper

Phase II Testing of Liquid Cooling Garments Using a Sweating Manikin, Controlled by a Human Physiological Model

An ADvanced Automotive Manikin (ADAM) developed at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) is used to evaluate NASA’s liquid cooling garments (LCGs) used in advanced spacesuits. The manikin has 120 separate heated/sweating zones and is controlled by a finite-element physiological model of the human thermo-regulatory system. Previous testing showed the thermal sensation and comfort followed expected trends as the LCG inlet fluid temperature was changed. The Phase II test data demonstrates the repeatability of ADAM by retesting the baseline LCG. Skin and core temperature predictions using ADAM in an LCG/arctic suit combination are compared to NASA physiological data to validate the manikin/model. An additional Orlan LCG configuration is assessed using the manikin and compared to the baseline LCG.
Technical Paper

Rapid Microbial Analysis during Simulated Surface EVA at Meteor Crater: Implications for Human Exploration of the Moon and Mars

Procedures for rapid microbiological analysis were performed during simulated surface extra-vehicular activity (EVA) at Meteor Crater, Arizona. The fully suited operator swabbed rock (‘unknown’ sample), spacesuit glove (contamination control) and air (negative control). Each swab sample was analyzed for lipopolysaccharide (LPS) and β-1, 3-glucan within 10 minutes by the handheld LOCAD PTS instrument, scheduled for flight to ISS on space shuttle STS-116. This simulated a rapid and preliminary ‘life detection’ test (with contamination control) that a human could perform on Mars. Eight techniques were also evaluated for their ability to clean and remove LPS and β-1, 3-glucan from five surface materials of the EVA Mobility Unit (EMU). While chemical/mechanical techniques were effective at cleaning smooth surfaces (e.g. RTV silicon), they were less so with porous fabrics (e.g. TMG gauntlet).
Technical Paper

Evaluation of the Risk of Circulating Microbubbles Under Simulated Extravehicular Activities After Bed Rest

This ground-based study compared the risk of microbubbles during decompression under simulated space extravehicular activities (EVA) after three days of six-degree head-down bed rest with three days of ambulatory control. Test subjects were exposed to a pressure of 44.8 kPa (6.5 psi), breathed 100% oxygen, and exercised at reduced pressure either in the supine (during experimental) or upright (control) position. Circulating microbubbles were monitored by a precordial Doppler ultrasound device, and were found in 52% (12/23) of control and 26% (6/23) of experimental exposures. Survival analysis using Cox proportional hazards regression showed that there was 0.22 times (95% confidence interval=0.07-0.68) reduction in the risk of high grade microbubbles after bed rest, compared to controls (p=0.004). This finding is of importance in evaluating the risk of DCS during EVA.
Technical Paper

Methodologies for Critical Body Organ Space Radiation Risk Assessments

One of the risks associated with long-term space flights is cancer incidence resulting from chronic exposure to space radiation. Assessment of incurred risk from radiation exposure requires quantifying the dose throughout the body. The space radiation exposure received by Space Shuttle astronauts is measured by thermoluminescent dosimeters (TLDs) worn during every mission. These dosimeters measure the absorbed dose to the skin, but the dose to internal organs is required for estimating the cancer risk induced by space radiation. A method to extrapolate these skin dose measurements to realistic organ specific dose estimates, using the Computerized Anatomical Man (CAM) and Computerized Anatomical Female (CAF) models, is discussed in detail. A transport code, which propagates high energy nucleon and charged particles, is combined with the CAM/CAF-generated shielding areal distributions to evaluate the absorbed dose at selected organ sites.
Technical Paper

Space Crew Radiation Exposure Analysis System Based on a Commercial Stand-Alone CAD System

Major improvements have recently been completed in the approach to spacecraft shielding analysis. A Computer-Aided Design (CAD)-based system has been developed for determining the shielding provided to any point within or external to the spacecraft. Shielding analysis is performed using a commercially available stand-alone CAD system and a customized ray-tracing subroutine contained within a standard engineering modeling software package. This improved shielding analysis technique has been used in several vehicle design projects such as a Mars transfer habitat, pressurized lunar rover, and the redesigned Space Station. Results of these analyses are provided to demonstrate the applicability and versatility of the system.