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Technical Paper

Enzyme-Enhanced Membranes for Gas Separation

1999-07-12
1999-01-1961
Membranes are highly desirable for separating gases in life-support applications. They are small, light, efficient, selective and require little operational or physical maintenance. Facilitated transport membranes have particularly high flux and selectivity. We created enzyme-based facilitated transport membranes using isozymes and mutants as immobilized arrays alone and in conjunction with polymeric membranes. The enzyme operates efficiently at the low CO2 concentrations encountered in respiratory gases and can bring CO2 to near ambient levels. CO2 flux is greatly enhanced and selectivities for CO2 over O2 of 200:1 or greater are possible. The enzymes are robust and stable for long periods under a variety of storage and use conditions.
Technical Paper

Mir Leak Detection Using Fluorescent Tracer Gases

1999-07-12
1999-01-1938
On June 25, 1997 a docking mishap of a Progress supply ship caused the Progress vehicle to crash into an array of solar panels and puncture the hull of the Spektr module. The puncture was small enough to allow the crew to seal off the Spektr module and repressurize the rest of the station. The Progress vehicle struck the Spektr module several times and the exact location, size, and number of punctures in the Spektr hull was unknown. Russian cosmonauts donned space suits and went inside the Spektr module to repair some electrical power cables and look for the location of the hull breach, they could not identify the exact location of the hole (or holes). The Spektr module was pressurized with Mir cabin air twice during the STS-86 fly around in an attempt to detect leakage (in the form of ice particles) from the module. Seven particles were observed within a 36 second time span, but tracking the path of the individual particles did not pinpoint a specific leak location.
Technical Paper

Vapor Compression Distillation Urine Processor Lessons Learned from Development and Life Testing

1999-07-12
1999-01-1954
Vapor Compression Distillation (VCD) is the chosen technology for urine processing aboard the International Space Station (ISS). Development and life testing over the past several years have brought to the forefront problems and solutions for the VCD technology. Testing between 1992 and 1998 has been instrumental in developing estimates of hardware life and reliability. It has also helped improve the hardware design in ways that either correct existing problems or enhance the existing design of the hardware. The testing has increased the confidence in the VCD technology and reduced technical and programmatic risks. This paper summarizes the test results and changes that have been made to the VCD design.
Technical Paper

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

1997-07-01
972375
A test has been completed at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC) to evaluate the 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). Potable and urine reclamation processors were integrated with waste water generation equipment and successfully operated for a total of 128 days in recipient mode configuration to evaluate the accumulation of contaminants in the water system and to assess the performance of various modifications to the WRM and WM hardware. No accumulation of contaminants were detected in the product water over the course of the recipient mode test. An additional 18 days were conducted in donor mode to assess the ability of the system to removal viral contaminants, to monitor the breakthrough of organic contaminants through the multifiltration bed, and for resolving anomalies that occurred during the test.
Technical Paper

Solid Polymer Electrolyte Oxygen Generator Assembly Life Testing at MSFC - The First Year

1997-07-01
972376
A two year test program has been initiated to evaluate the effects of extended duration operation on a solid polymer electrolyte Oxygen Generator Assembly (OGA); in particular the cell stack and membrane phase separators. As part of this test program, the OGA was integrated into the Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC) Water Recovery Test (WRT) Stage 10, a six month test, to use reclaimed water directly from the water processor product water storage tanks. This paper will document results encountered and evaluated thus far in the life testing program.
Technical Paper

Diode-Laser Spectral Absorption-Based Gas Species Sensor for Life Support Applications

1997-07-01
972388
We present the development of a semiconductor diode laser spectral absorption based gas species sensor for oxygen concentration measurements, intended for life support system monitoring and control applications. Employing a novel self-compensating, noise cancellation detection approach, we experimentally demonstrate better than 1% accuracy, linearity, and stability for monitoring breathing air conditions with 0.2 second response time. We also discuss applications of this approach to CO2 sensing.
Technical Paper

Characterization of Condensate from the Research Animal Holding Facility (RAHF)

1994-06-01
941506
Life Sciences research on Space Station will utilize rats to study the effects of the microgravity environment on mammalian physiology and to develop countermeasures to those effects for the health and safety of the crew. The animals will produce metabolic water which must be reclaimed to minimize logistics support. The condensate from the Research Animal Holding Facility (RAHF) flown on Spacelab Life Sciences-2 (SLS-2) in October 1993 was used as an analog to determine the type and quantity of constituents which the Space Station (SS) water reclamation system will have to process. The most significant organics present in the condensate were 2-propanol, glycerol, ethylene glycol, 1,2-propanediol, acetic acid, acetone, total proteins, urea and caprolactam while the most significant inorganic was ammonia. Microbial isolates included Xanthomonas, Sphingobacterium, Pseudomonas, Penicillium, Aspergillus and Chrysosporium.
Technical Paper

Phase III Integrated Water Recovery Testing at MSFC: Closed Hygiene and Potable Loop Test Results and Lesson Learned

1992-07-01
921117
A series of tests has been conducted at the NASA Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC) to evaluate the performance of a Space Station Freedom (SSF) pre-development water recovery system. Potable, hygiene, and urine reclamation subsystems were integrated with end-use equipment items and successfully operated for a total of 35 days, including 23 days in closed-loop mode with man-in-the-loop. Although several significant subsystem physical anomalies were encountered, reclaimed potable and hygiene water routinely met current SSF water quality specifications. This paper summarizes the test objectives, system design, test activities/protocols, significant results/anomalies, and major lessons learned.
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

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

1995-07-01
951586
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

An Advanced Water Recovery Program

1996-07-01
961336
This paper reviews designs of urine distillation systems for spacecraft water recovery. Consideration is given to both air evaporation and vacuum distillation cycles, to the means for improving cycle performance (such as heat pumps, multistaging, and rotary evaporators), and to system concepts offering promise for future development. Vacuum distillation offers lower power consumption, at some increase in system complexity; air evaporation distillation is capable of providing higher water recovery efficiency, which could offset the lower power consumption advantage of vacuum distillation for long-duration missions.
Technical Paper

Phase III Integrated Water Recovery Testing at MSFC: Single Loop Test Results and Lessons Learned

1993-07-01
932048
A series of tests has been conducted at the NASA Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC) to evaluate the performance of the Space Station Freedom (SSF) water recovery system. Potable and urine reclamation processors were integrated with waste water generation equipment and successfully operated for a total of 144 days. This testing marked the first occasion in which the waste feed sources for previous potable and hygiene loops were combined into a single loop and processed to potable water quality. Reclaimed potable water from the combined waste waters routinely met the SSF water quality specifications. In the last stage of this testing, data was obtained that indicated that the Water Processor (WP) presterilizer may not be required to meet the potable water quality specification.
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