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Technical Paper

Performance of the Atmosphere Revitalization System During Phase II of the Lunar-Mars Life Support Test Project

The Lunar-Mars Life Support Test Project (LMLSTP), formerly known as the Early Human Testing Initiative (EHTI), was established to perform the necessary research, technology development, integration, and verification of regenerative life support systems to provide safe, reliable, and self-sufficient human life support systems. Four advanced life support system test phases make up LMLSTP. Phase I of the test program demonstrated the use of plants to provide the atmosphere revitalization requirements of a single test subject for 15 days. The primary objective of the Phase II test was to demonstrate an integrated regenerative life support system capable of sustaining a human crew of four for 30 days in a closed chamber. The third test phase, known as Phase IIA, served as a demonstration of International Space Station (ISS) representative life support technology, supporting a human crew of four for 60 days.
Technical Paper

CO2 Removal with Enhanced Molecular Sieves

In the closed environment of an inhabited spacecraft, a critical aspect of the air revitalization system is the removal of the carbon dioxide (CO2) and water vapor produced by the crew. A number of different techniques can be used for CO2 removal, but current methods are either non-regenerative or require a relatively high power input for thermal regeneration. Two-bed CO2 adsorption systems that can remove CO2 from humid air and be regenerated using pressure-swing desorption offer mass, volume, and power advantages when compared with the other methods. Two classes of sorbent materials show particular promise for this application: Zeolite sorbents, similar to those in the International Space Station (ISS) CO2 removal assembly Functionalized carbon molecular sieves (FCMS), which adsorb CO2 independent of the humidity in the airstream Pressure-swing testing of these two different sorbents under both space station and space suit conditions are currently underway.
Technical Paper

International Space Station Carbon Dioxide Removal Assembly (ISS CDRA) Concepts and Advancements

An important aspect of air revitalization for life support in spacecraft is the removal of carbon dioxide from cabin air. Several types of carbon dioxide removal systems are in use or have been proposed for use in spacecraft life support systems. These systems rely on various removal techniques that employ different architectures and media for scrubbing CO2, such as permeable membranes, liquid amine, adsorbents, and absorbents. Sorbent systems have been used since the first manned missions. The current state of key technology is the existing International Space Station (ISS) Carbon Dioxide Removal Assembly (CDRA), a system that selectively removes carbon dioxide from the cabin atmosphere. The CDRA system was launched aboard UF-2 in February 2001 and resides in the U.S. Destiny Laboratory module. During the past four years, the CDRA system has experienced operational limitations.