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Journal Article

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

2009-07-12
2009-01-2591
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

Overview of the Vehicle Cabin Atmosphere Monitor, a Miniature Gas Chromatograph/Mass Spectrometer for Trace Contamination Monitoring on the ISS and CEV

2007-07-09
2007-01-3150
Work is underway to deliver an instrument for analysis of the atmosphere aboard the International Space Station. The Vehicle Cabin Atmosphere Monitor (VCAM) is based on a low-mass, low-power miniature preconcentrator gas chromatograph/mass spectrometer (PCGC/MS) capable of providing sub-ppm measurements of volatile constituents in a space vehicle or outpost. VCAM is designed to operate autonomously, maintenance-free, once per day, with its own carrier and calibration gas supplies sufficient for a one-year lifetime. VCAM performance is sufficient to detect and identify 90% of the target compounds specified at their 180-day Spacecraft Maximum Allowable Concentration (SMAC) levels. The flight units will be delivered in mid-2008 and be operated in the ISS EXPRESS rack.
Technical Paper

Overview of Potable Water Systems on Spacecraft Vehicles and Applications for the Crew Exploration Vehicle (CEV)

2007-07-09
2007-01-3259
Providing water necessary to maintain life support has been accomplished in spacecraft vehicles for over forty years. This paper will investigate how previous U.S. space vehicles provided potable water. The water source for the spacecraft, biocide used to preserve the water on-orbit, water stowage methodology, materials, pumping mechanisms, on-orbit water requirements, and water temperature requirements will be discussed. Where available, the hardware used to provide the water and the general function of that hardware will also be detailed. The Crew Exploration Vehicle (CEV or Orion) water systems will be generically discussed to provide a glimpse of how similar they are to water systems in previous vehicles. Conclusions, questions, and recommendations on strategies that could be applied to CEV based on previous spacecraft water system lessons learned will be made.
Technical Paper

An Environmental Sensor Technology Selection Process for Exploration

2005-07-11
2005-01-2872
In planning for Exploration missions and developing the required suite of environmental monitors, the difficulty lies in down-selecting a multitude of technology options to a few candidates with exceptional potential. Technology selection criteria include conventional analytical parameters (e.g., range, sensitivity, selectivity), operational factors (degree of automation, portability, required level of crew training, maintenance), logistical factors (size, mass, power, consumables, waste generation) and engineering factors such as complexity and reliability. Other more subtle considerations include crew interfaces, data readout and degree of autonomy from the ground control center. We anticipate that technology demonstrations designed toward these goals will be carried out on the International Space Station, the end result of which is a suite of techniques well positioned for deployment during Exploration missions.
Technical Paper

Development of the Surface Thermal Environment for the Mars Scout Phoenix Mission

2007-07-09
2007-01-3239
Phoenix is NASA's first Mars Scouts Mission that will place a soft-lander on the Martian surface at a high northern latitude. Much of the Mars surface environmental flight data from landed missions pertains to the near-equatorial regions. However, orbital observations have yielded very useful data about the surface environment. These data along with a simple, but highly effective one-dimensional atmospheric model was used to develop the Phoenix surface thermal environment. As candidate landing sites were identified, parametric studies including statistical variations were conducted to prescribe minimum nighttime and maximum daytime temperature design Sols (a Martian day). Atmospheric effects such as clouds and ice were considered. Finally, recent candidate landing site imaging conducted by the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter revealed that the prime site contained a much higher rock density than first thought.
Technical Paper

Phase VI Advanced EVA Glove Development and Certification for the International Space Station

2001-07-09
2001-01-2163
Since the early 1980’s, the Shuttle Extra Vehicular Activity (EVA) glove design has evolved to meet the challenge of space based tasks. These tasks have typically been satellite retrieval and repair or EVA based flight experiments. With the start of the International Space Station (ISS) assembly, the number of EVA based missions is increasing far beyond what has been required in the past; this has commonly been referred to as the “Wall of EVA’s”. To meet this challenge, it was determined that the evolution of the current glove design would not meet future mission objectives. Instead, a revolution in glove design was needed to create a high performance tool that would effectively increase crewmember mission efficiency. The results of this effort have led to the design, certification and implementation of the Phase VI EVA glove into the Shuttle flight program.
Technical Paper

Mechanical Properties and Durability Study of Aerogel-Base Thermal Insulation for Advanced Space Suit

2003-07-07
2003-01-2446
Fiber-reinforced Aerogel composite insulations provide superior thermal insulation protection in both the low-earth orbit (LEO) and near-earth neighborhood planetary environments. The flexible nature and thermal properties of these materials make them the best insulation candidates for advanced space suit application. This paper reviews the properties of various Aerogel composite materials developed for NASA by Aspen Systems, Inc. Previous studies showed that the Aerogel materials retained acceptable thermal performance after some amount of mechanical cycling. The goal of the current work is to reach a complete understanding of the mechanical properties of these materials in the domain of space suit application. Hence, a good knowledge of the durability of the aerogel composites is needed. This paper presents the extensive testing program needed to determine the life of these insulations for advanced space suit application.
Technical Paper

Development of a Gravity Independent Nitrification Biological Water Processor

2003-07-07
2003-01-2560
Biological water processors are currently being developed for application in microgravity environments. Work has been performed to develop a single-phase, gravity independent anoxic denitrification reactor for organic carbon removal [1]. As a follow on to this work it was necessary to develop a gravity independent nitrification reactor in order to provide sufficient nitrite and nitrate to the organic carbon oxidation reactor for the complete removal of organic carbon. One approach for providing the significant amounts of dissolved oxygen required for nitrification is to require the biological reactor design to process two-phase gas and liquid in micro-gravity. This paper addresses the design and test results overview for development of a tubular, two-phase, gravity independent nitrification biological water processor.
Technical Paper

Reducing the Risk of Human Space Missions With INTEGRITY

2003-07-07
2003-01-2572
The INTEGRITY Program will design and operate a test bed facility to help prepare for future beyond-LEO missions. The purpose of INTEGRITY is to enable future missions by developing, testing, and demonstrating advanced human space systems. INTEGRITY will also implement and validate advanced management techniques including risk analysis and mitigation. One important way INTEGRITY will help enable future missions is by reducing their risk. A risk analysis of human space missions is important in defining the steps that INTEGRITY should take to mitigate risk. This paper describes how a Probabilistic Risk Assessment (PRA) of human space missions will help support the planning and development of INTEGRITY to maximize its benefits to future missions. PRA is a systematic methodology to decompose the system into subsystems and components, to quantify the failure risk as a function of the design elements and their corresponding probability of failure.
Technical Paper

The State of ISS ATCS Design, Assembly and Operation

2003-07-07
2003-01-2513
The International Space Station (ISS) Active Thermal Control System (ATCS) (Ref. 1,2) has changed over the past several years to address problems and to improve its assembly and operation on-orbit. This paper captures the ways in which the Internal (I) ATCS and External (E) ATCS have changed design characteristics and operations both for the system currently operating on-orbit and the new elements of the system that are about to be added and/or activated. The rationale for changes in ATCS design, assembly and operation will provide insights into the lessons learned during ATCS development. The state of the assembly of the integrated ATCS will be presented to provide a status of the build-up of the system. The capabilities of the on-orbit system will be presented with a summary of the elements of the ISS ATCS that are functional on-orbit plus the plans for launch of remaining parts of the integrated ISS ATCS.
Technical Paper

Investigation of Transient Temperature Oscillations of a Propylene Loop Heat Pipe

2001-07-09
2001-01-2235
A technology demonstration propylene Loop Heat Pipe (LHP) has been tested extensively in support of the implementation of this two-phase thermal control technology on NASA’s Earth Observing System (EOS) Tropospheric Emission Spectrometer (TES) instrument. This cryogenic instrument is being developed at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) for NASA. This paper reports on the transient characterization testing results showing low frequency temperature oscillations. Steady state performance and model correlation results can be found elsewhere. Results for transient startup and shutdown are also reported elsewhere. In space applications, when LHPs are used for thermal control, the power dissipation components are typically of large mass and may operate over a wide range of power dissipations; there is a concern that the LHP evaporator may see temperature oscillations at low powers and over some temperature range.
Technical Paper

Extravehicular Activity Metabolic Profile Development Based on Apollo, Skylab, and Shuttle Missions

1997-07-01
972502
The importance of being able to determine the usage rate of life support subsystem consumables was recognized well before the first Apollo Extravehicular Activity (EVA). Since that time, metabolic activity levels have been evaluated and recorded for each EVA crew member. Throughout the history of the United States space program, EVA metabolic rates have been shown to be variable depending upon the mission scenario and the equipment used. Knowing this historic information is invaluable for current EVA planning activities, as well as for the design of future Extravehicular Mobility Unit (EMU) systems. This paper presents an overview of historic metabolic expenditures for Apollo, Skylab, and Shuttle missions, along with a discussion of the types of EVA crew member activities which lead to various metabolic rate levels, and a discussion on how this data is being used to develop advanced EMU systems.
Technical Paper

Comparison Studies of Candidate Nutrient Delivery Systems for Plant Cultivation in Space

1997-07-01
972304
A reliable nutrient delivery system is essential for long-term cultivation of plants in space. At the Kennedy Space Center, a series of ground-based tests are being conducted to compare candidate plant nutrient delivery systems for space. To date, our major focus has concentrated on the Porous Tube Plant Nutrient Delivery System, the ASTROCULTURE™ System, and a zeoponic plant growth substrate. The merits of each system are based upon the performance of wheat supported over complete growth cycles. To varying degrees, each system supported wheat biomass production and showed distinct patterns for plant nutrient uptake and water use.
Technical Paper

Environmental Control System for an Experimental Crew Return Vehicle

1997-07-01
972263
A small team of NASA engineers has been assembled at the Johnson Space Center, with the goal of developing an inexpensive space-capable vehicle. In order to minimize cost and development time of the experimental vehicle, it was desirable to build upon a previously-developed vehicle shape. The basic shape of the X-24A experimental lifting body was chosen for several reasons, and in the case of the Environmental Control and Life Support (ECLS), the de-orbit cross-range capability of this shape provides for a minimal on-orbit time while waiting for landing opportunities, which in turn simplifies the ECLS. Figure 1 shows the X-38 vehicle body shape. In keeping with the goal of rapidly developing an inexpensive and reliable vehicle, the ECLS was developed using simple, passive systems where practical. This paper provides an overview of the ECLS mission requirements and design, with emphasis on the philosophy used in its development.
Technical Paper

Innovative Schematic Concept Analysis for a Space Suit Portable Life Support Subsystem

2006-07-17
2006-01-2201
Conceptual designs for a space suit Personal Life Support Subsystem (PLSS) were developed and assessed to determine if upgrading the system using new, emerging, or projected technologies to fulfill basic functions would result in mass, volume, or performance improvements. Technologies were identified to satisfy each of the functions of the PLSS in three environments (zero-g, Lunar, and Martian) and in three time frames (2006, 2010, and 2020). The viability of candidate technologies was evaluated using evaluation criteria such as safety, technology readiness, and reliability. System concepts (schematics) were developed for combinations of time frame and environment by assigning specific technologies to each of four key functions of the PLSS -- oxygen supply, waste removal, thermal control, and power. The PLSS concepts were evaluated using the ExtraVehicular Activity System Sizing Analysis Tool, software created by NASA to analyze integrated system mass, volume, power and thermal loads.
Technical Paper

The Applicability of Past Innovative Concepts to the Technology for New Extremely Large Space Antenna/Telescope Structures

2006-07-17
2006-01-2063
Early development of concepts for space structures up to 1000 meters in size was initiated in the early 1960's and carried through the 1970's. The enabling technologies were self-deployables, on-orbit assembly, and on-orbit manufacturing. Because of the lack of interest due to the astronomical cost associated with advancing the on-orbit assembly and manufacturing technologies, only self-deployable concepts were subsequently pursued. However, for over 50 years, potential users of deployable antennas for radar, radiometers, planar arrays, VLBF and others, are still interested and constantly revising the requirements for larger and higher precision structures. This trend persists today. An excellent example of this trend is the current DARPA/SPO ISAT Program that applies self-deployable structures technology to a 300 meter long active planar array radar antenna. This ongoing program has created a rare opportunity for innovative advancement of state-of-the-art concepts.
Technical Paper

Standardized Radiation Shield Design Method: 2005 HZETRN

2006-07-17
2006-01-2109
Research committed by the Langley Research Center through 1995 resulting in the HZETRN code provides the current basis for shield design methods according to NASA STD-3000 (2005). With this new prominence, the database, basic numerical procedures, and algorithms are being re-examined with new methods of verification and validation being implemented to capture a well defined algorithm for engineering design processes to be used in this early development phase of the Bush initiative. This process provides the methodology to transform the 1995 HZETRN research code into the 2005 HZETRN engineering code to be available for these early design processes. In this paper, we will review the basic derivations including new corrections to the codes to insure improved numerical stability and provide benchmarks for code verification.
Technical Paper

The Thermal Design Evolution of the Phoenix Robotic Arm

2006-07-17
2006-01-2033
Phoenix, NASA's first Mars Scouts mission, will be launched in 2007 and will soft-land inside the Martian Arctic Circle, between north 65° and 72° North latitude, in 2008 to study the water history and to search for habitable zones. Similar to the IDD (Instrument Deployment Device) on the Mars Exploration Rovers (MER), Phoenix has a Robotic Arm (RA) which is equipped with a scoop to dig into the icy soil and to deliver the soil samples to instruments for scientific observations and measurements. As with MER, the actuators and the bearings of the Phoenix RA in a non-operating condition can survive the cold Martian night without any electrical power or any thermal insulation. The RA actuators have a minimum operating allowable flight temperature (AFT) limit of -55°C, so, warm-up heaters are required to bring the temperatures of all the RA actuators above the operating AFT limit prior to early morning operation.
Technical Paper

Design of a Water Electrolysis Flight Experiment

1993-07-01
932087
Supply of oxygen (O2) and hydrogen (H2) by electrolyzing water in space will play an important role in meeting the National Aeronautics and Space Administration's (NASA's) needs and goals for future space missions. Both O2 and H2 are envisioned to be used in a variety of processes including crew life support, spacecraft propulsion, extravehicular activity, electrical power generation/storage as well as in scientific experiment and manufacturing processes. Life Systems, Inc., in conjunction with NASA, has been developing an alkaline-based Static Feed Electrolyzer (SFE). During the development of the water electrolysis technology over the past 23 years, an extensive engineering and scientific data base has been assembled.
Technical Paper

Measurement of Trace Water Vapor in a Carbon Dioxide Removal Assembly Product Stream

2004-07-19
2004-01-2444
The International Space Station Carbon Dioxide Removal Assembly (CDRA) uses regenerable adsorption technology to remove carbon dioxide (CO2) from cabin air. CO2 product water vapor measurements from a CDRA test bed unit at the NASA Marshall Space Flight Center were made using a tunable infrared diode laser differential absorption spectrometer (TILDAS) provided by NASA Glenn Research Center. The TILDAS instrument exceeded all the test specifications, including sensitivity, dynamic range, time response, and unattended operation. During the CO2 desorption phase, water vapor concentrations as low as 5 ppmv were observed near the peak of CO2 evolution, rising to levels of ∼40 ppmv at the end of a cycle. Periods of high water concentration (>100 ppmv) were detected and shown to be caused by an experimental artifact.
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