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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 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

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

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

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

Development of a Direct Drive Hall Effect Thruster System

2002-10-29
2002-01-3212
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

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

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

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

ISS Internal Active Thermal Control System (IATCS) Coolant Remediation Project - 2006 Update

2006-07-17
2006-01-2161
The IATCS coolant has experienced a number of anomalies in the time since the US Lab was first activated on Flight 5A in February 2001. These have included: 1) a decrease in coolant pH, 2) increases in inorganic carbon, 3) a reduction in phosphate concentration, 4) an increase in dissolved nickel and precipitation of nickel salts, and 5) increases in microbial concentration. These anomalies represent some risk to the system, have been implicated in some hardware failures and are suspect in others. The ISS program has conducted extensive investigations of the causes and effects of these anomalies and has developed a comprehensive program to remediate the coolant chemistry of the on-orbit system as well as provide a robust and compatible coolant solution for the hardware yet to be delivered.
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

Spacelab Carrier Complement Thermal Design and Performance

1992-07-01
921278
Spacelab mission thermal integration is one of many activities performed at the NASA Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC). The Spacelab carrier system has been expanded from the original module/pallet system. Thermodynamics and heat transfer as well as fluid mechanics and fluid dynamics are the support areas discussed here. This support incorporates preflight mission analysis in conjunction with real time mission support and postflight mission analysis. This paper summarizes these activities for the Spacelab carrier complement, citing some of the more challenging thermal control designs for which the Center is and has been responsible. Technology advancements, coupled with the ever increasing needs of the payload community and the desire for flexibility to manifest several distinct payload elements on a single mission, has aided in the evolution of a more diverse Spacelab carrier complement.
Technical Paper

Hubble Space Telescope Nickel-Hydrogen Battery and Cell Testing - An Update

1992-08-03
929089
Nickel-hydrogen (Ni-H2) technology has only recently been utilized in low earth orbit (LEO) applications. The Hubble Space Telescope (HST) program, over the past five years, played a key role in developing this application. The HST not only became the first reported, nonexperimental program to fly Ni-H2 batteries in a LEO application, but funded numerous, ongoing tests that served to validate this usage. The Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC) has been testing HST Ni-H2 batteries and cells for over three years. The major tests include a 6-battery system (SBS) test and a single 22-cell battery (FSB) test. The SBS test has been operating for 34 months and completed approximately 15,200 cycles. The performance of the cells and batteries in this test is nominal. Currently, the batteries are operating at an average end-of-charge (EOC) pressure that indicates an average capacity of approximately 79 ampere-hours (Ah).
Technical Paper

A Description and Comparison of U.S. and Russian Urine Processing Hardware for the International Space Station

1994-06-01
941251
The Russian space program has maintained crews on long duration space flights nearly continuously over the past two decades. As a result, a strong emphasis has been placed on the development of regenerative life support systems. One of these systems is a urine processor which has been operating on-orbit since 1990. The U. S has also been developing urine processing systems to reclaim water from urine over the past twenty years. This paper will describe the two different technologies used for urine processing for long-term human presence in space and will compare the operating characteristics of the two systems.
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.
Technical Paper

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

2004-07-19
2004-01-2477
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

A Study on the Role of Human Testing of Life Support Systems

1996-07-01
961474
The appropriate role of human testing in life support systems design has been a key concern for human spacecraft development. This discussion intensified over the past one and a half years as the International Space Station (ISS) evaluated the risk associated with the baseline program while conducting cost and schedule convergence activities. The activity was carried from the traditional top-level discussion to evaluation of the specific Space Station Life Support concerns associated with human interaction, weighed against cost impacts. This paper details the results of this activity, providing the rationale for the present ISS approach.
Technical Paper

The Advanced Life Support Human-Rated Test Facility: Testbed Development and Testing to Understand Evolution to Regenerative Life Support

1996-07-01
961592
As part of its integrated system test bed capability, NASA's Advanced Life Support Program has undertaken the development of a large-scale advanced life support facility capable of supporting long-duration testing of integrated, regenerative biological and physicochemical life support systems. This facility--the Advanced Life Support Human-Rated Test Facility (HRTF) is currently being built at the Johnson Space Center. The HRTF is comprised of a series of interconnected chambers with a sealed internal environment capable of supporting a test crew of four for periods exceeding one year. The life support system will consist of both biological and physicochemical components and will perform air revitalization, water recovery, food production, solid waste processing, thermal management, and integrated command and control functions. Currently, a portion of this multichamber facility has been constructed and is being outfitted with basic utilities and infrastructure.
Technical Paper

Manned Space Exploration and Life Support - Strategies, Milestones, and Limitations

1995-07-01
951532
A rationale will be presented,as to why a lunar base should be the next logical step of a future scenario for manned space flight preceding a flight to Mars. In this respect, the lunar base and the Mars flight examples and their life support systems will be addressed. An overview of past experiences, especially Apollo, and the current knowledge is given concerning both lunar missions and life support systems. Also, critical areas of mission design and preparation, like the necessity of precursor missions, the potential of resource utilization, radiation shielding, and life support system evolution, are addressed. This paper decribes a general development scenario for future manned missions to the Moon and Mars and why a “dress rehearsal” of a mission to Mars in the Earth-Moon-system will be necessary, and what lessons can be learned from the development of a lunar base for missions to Mars.
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