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Technical Paper

Development of a Direct Drive Hall Effect Thruster System

A three-year program to develop a Direct Drive Hall Effect Thruster (D2HET) system began 15 months ago as part of the NASA Advanced Cross-Enterprise Technology Development initiative. The system is expected to reduce significantly the power processing, complexity, weight, and cost over conventional low-voltage systems. The D2HET will employ solar arrays that operate at voltages greater than 300V, and will be an enabling technology for affordable planetary exploration. It will also be a stepping-stone in the production of the next generation of power systems for Earth orbiting satellites. This paper provides a general overview of the program and reports the first year's findings from both theoretical and experimental components of the program.
Technical Paper

ISRU Production of Life Support Consumables for a Lunar Base

Similar to finding a home on Earth, location is important when selecting where to set up an exploration outpost. Essential considerations for comparing potential lunar outpost locations include: (1) areas nearby that would be useful for In-Situ Resource Utilization (ISRU) oxygen extraction from regolith for crew breathing oxygen as well as other potential uses; (2) proximity to a suitable landing site; (3) availability of sunlight; (4) capability for line-of-sight communications with Earth; (5) proximity to permanently-shadowed areas for potential in-situ water ice; and (6) scientific interest. The Mons Malapert1 (Malapert Mountain) area (85.5°S, 0°E) has been compared to these criteria, and appears to be a suitable location for a lunar outpost.
Technical Paper

First Astronaut - Rover Interaction Field Test

The first ever Astronaut - Rover (ASRO) Interaction Field Test was conducted successfully on February 22-27, 1999, in Silver Lake, Mojave Desert, California in a representative surface terrain. This test was a joint effort between the NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, California and the NASA Johnson Space Center, Houston, Texas to investigate the interaction between humans and robotic rovers for potential future planetary surface exploration. As prototype advanced planetary surface space suit and rover technologies are being developed for human planetary surface exploration, it is desirable to better understand the interaction and potential benefits of an Extravehiclar Activity (EVA) crewmember interacting with a robotic rover. This interaction between an EVA astronaut and a robotic rover is seen as complementary and can greatly enhance the productivity and safety of surface excursions.
Technical Paper

First Human Testing of the Orion Atmosphere Revitalization Technology

A system of amine-based carbon dioxide (CO2) and water vapor sorbent in pressure-swing regenerable beds has been developed by Hamilton Sundstrand and is baselined for the Orion Atmosphere Revitalization System (ARS). In two previous years at this conference, reports were presented on extensive Johnson Space Center (JSC) testing of the technology, which was performed in a representative environment with simulated human metabolic loads. The next step in developmental testing at JSC was to use real human loads in the spring of 2008.
Technical Paper

Demonstration of Oxygen Production on the Moon and Mars

Scientists and engineers at NASA are currently developing flight instruments which will demonstrate oxygen production on the Moon and Mars. REGA will extract oxygen from the lunar regolith, measure implanted solar wind and indigenous gases, and monitor the lunar atmosphere. MIP will demonstrate oxygen production on Mars, along with key supporting technologies including filtration, atmospheric acquisition and compression, thermal management, solar cell performance, and dust removal.
Technical Paper

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

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

Equivalent System Mass of Producing Yeast and Flat Breads from Wheat Berries, A Comparison of Mill Type

Wheat is a candidate crop for the Advanced Life Support (ALS) system, and cereal grains and their products will be included on long-term space missions beyond low earth orbit. While the exact supply scenario has yet to be determined, some type of post-processing of these grains must occur if they are shipped as bulk ingredients or grown on site for use in foods. Understanding the requirements for processing grains in space is essential for incorporating the process into the ALS food system. The ESM metric developed by NASA describes and compares individual system impact on a closed system in terms of a single parameter, mass. The objective of this study was to compare the impact of grain mill type on the ESM of producing yeast and flat breads. Hard red spring wheat berries were ground using a Brabender Quadrumat Jr. or the Kitchen-Aid grain mill attachment (both are proposed post-harvest technologies for the ALS system) to produce white and whole wheat flour, respectively.
Technical Paper

Comparison of Equivalent System Mass (ESM) of Yeast and Flat Bread Systems

The Equivalent System Mass (ESM) metric developed by NASA describes and compares individual system impact on a closed system in terms of a single parameter, mass. The food system of a Mars mission may encompass a large percentage of total mission ESM, and decreasing this ESM would be beneficial. Yeast breads were made using three methods (hand & oven, bread machine, mixer with dough hook attachment & oven). Flat breads were made using four methods (hand & oven, hand & griddle, mixer with dough hook attachment & oven, mixer with dough hook attachment & griddle). Two formulations were used for each bread system (scratch ingredients, commercial mix). ESM was calculated for each of these scenarios. The objective of this study was to compare the ESM of yeast and flat bread production for a Martian surface outpost. Method (equipment) for both types of bread production was demonstrated to be the most significant influence of ESM when one equipment use was assumed.
Technical Paper

Phase III Integrated Water Recovery Testing at MSFC: International Space Station Configuration Test Results and Lessons Learned

A test has been completed at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC) to evaluate the latest Water Recovery and Management (WRM) system and Waste Management (WM) urinal design for the United States On-Orbit Segment (USOS) of the International Space Station (ISS) with higher fidelity hardware and integration than has been achieved in previous integrated tests. Potable and urine reclamation processors were integrated with waste water generation equipment and successfully operated for a total of 116 days to evaluate the impacts of changes made as a result of the redesign from Space Station Freedom (SSF) to the ISS. This testing marked the first occasion in which the WRM was automated at the system level, allowing for evaluation of the hardware performance under ISS operating conditions. It was also the first time a “flight-like” Process Control Water Quality Monitor (PCWQM) and a WM urinal were tested in an integrated system.
Technical Paper

Modifications of Physiological Processes Concerning Extravehicular Activity in Microgravity

The incidence of DCS in null gravity appears to be considerably less than predicted by 1-g experiments. In NASA studies in 1-g, 83% of the incidents of DCS occur in the legs. We report first on a study with a crossover design that indicated a considerable reduction in the decompression Doppler bubble grade in the lower extremities in subjects in simulated microgravity (bed rest) as compared to themselves when ambulatory in unit gravity. Second we describe the results of a cardiovascular deconditioning study using a tail-suspended rat model. Since there may be a reduction in bubble production in 0-g, this would reduce the possibility of acquiring neurological DCS, especially by arterial gas embolism. Further, cardiovascular deconditioning appears to reduce the pulmonary artery hypertension (secondary to gas embolization) necessary to effect arterialization of bubbles.
Technical Paper

Regenerative Life Support Systems Test Bed Performance: Lettuce Crop Characterization

Two crops of lettuce (Lactuca sativa cv. Waldmann's Green) were grown in the Regenerative Life Support Systems (RLSS) Test Bed at NASA's Johnson Space Center. The RLSS Test Bed is an atmospherically closed, controlled environment facility for the evaluation of regenerative life support systems using higher plants. The chamber encloses 10.6 m2 of growth area under cool-white fluorescent lamps. Lettuce was double seeded in 480 pots, each containing about 250 cm3 of calcined-clay substrate. Each pot was irrigated with half-strength Hoagland's nutrient solution at an average total applied amount of 2.5 and 1.8 liters pot-1, respectively, over each of the two 30-day crop tests. Average environmental and cultural conditions during both tests were 23°C air temperature, 72% relative humidity, 1000 ppm carbon dioxide (CO2), 16h light/8h dark photoperiod, and 356 μmol m-2s-1 photosynthetic photon flux.