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Technical Paper

Thermal Conductivity of Lofty Nonwovens in Space and Planetary Vacuum Environment

For planetary exploration, new thermal insulation materials are needed to deal with unique environmental conditions presented to extravehicular activity (EVA). The thermal insulation material and system used in the existing space suit were specifically designed for low orbit environment. They are not adequate for low vacuum condition commonly found in planetary environments with a gas atmosphere. This study attempts to identify the types of lofty nonwoven thermal insulation materials and the construction parameters that yield the best performance for such application. Lofty nonwovens with different construction parameters are evaluated for their thermal conductivity performance. Three different types of fiber material: solid round fiber, hollow fiber, and grooved fiber, with various denier, needling intensity, and web density were evaluated.
Technical Paper

Spacesuit Radiation Shield Design Methods

Meeting radiation protection requirements during EVA is predominantly an operational issue with some potential considerations for temporary shelter. The issue of spacesuit shielding is mainly guided by the potential of accidental exposure when operational and temporary shelter considerations fail to maintain exposures within operational limits. In this case, very high exposure levels are possible which could result in observable health effects and even be life threatening. Under these assumptions, potential spacesuit radiation exposures have been studied using known historical solar particle events to gain insight on the usefulness of modification of spacesuit design in which the control of skin exposure is a critical design issue and reduction of blood forming organ exposure is desirable.
Technical Paper

Self Contained Atmospheric Protective Ensemble (SCAPE) Suits Redesign and Implementation at Kennedy Space Center

The Self Contained Atmospheric Protective Ensemble (SCAPE) suits, worn at the Kennedy Space Center (KSC) have been updated from the original 1970's design. The suits were renamed Propellant Handlers Ensemble (PHE) but are still commonly referred to as SCAPE. Several modifications to the suit were done over the last 20 years to improve the design for operational use. However, anthropometric changes in the user population over time have not been addressed. The following study addressed anthropometric concerns in the current SCAPE population. It was found that all suits had at least one area in which the recommended upper limit was exceeded by technicians. The most common areas to exceed the upper limit were: waist circumference, chest circumference and upper thigh circumference. Forearm circumference posed the least concern unless using long gauntlet glove which cause the twist lock ring to be located at the forearm rather than the wrist.
Technical Paper

Preliminary Development of a Suit Port for Planetary Surface EVA — Design Studies

This paper present a summary of the design studies for the suit port proof of concept. The Suit Port reduces the need for airlocks by docking the suits directly to a rover or habitat bulkhead. The benefits include reductions in cycle time and consumables traditionally used when transferring from a pressurized compartment to EVA and mitigation of planetary surface dust from entering into the cabin. The design focused on the development of an operational proof of concept evaluated against technical feasibility, level of confidence in design, robustness to environment and failure, and the manufacturability. A future paper will discuss the overall proof of concept and provide results from evaluation testing including gas leakage rates upon completion of the testing program.
Technical Paper

Pilot Investigation: Nominal Crew Induced Forces in Zero-G

Vibrational disturbance magnitude and frequency on space-flight missions is often a critical factor regarding mission success. Both materials processing experiments and astronomical investigations have specific microgravity environmental requirements. Recent efforts have been made to quantify the microgravity environment on the Space Shuttle Columbia by measuring gravity levels produced by specific mission events such as Orbiter engine burns, treadmill and ergometer activities, crew sleep periods, rotating chair operations, and body mass measurement operations. However, no measurements have been made of specific, nominal crewmember activities such as translating about the middeck, flight-deck, or in the Spacelab. This report presents pilot-study data of test subject forces induced by intravehicular activities such as push-offs and landings with both hands and feet. Five subjects participated in this investigation.
Technical Paper

Phase II Testing of Liquid Cooling Garments Using a Sweating Manikin, Controlled by a Human Physiological Model

An ADvanced Automotive Manikin (ADAM) developed at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) is used to evaluate NASA’s liquid cooling garments (LCGs) used in advanced spacesuits. The manikin has 120 separate heated/sweating zones and is controlled by a finite-element physiological model of the human thermo-regulatory system. Previous testing showed the thermal sensation and comfort followed expected trends as the LCG inlet fluid temperature was changed. The Phase II test data demonstrates the repeatability of ADAM by retesting the baseline LCG. Skin and core temperature predictions using ADAM in an LCG/arctic suit combination are compared to NASA physiological data to validate the manikin/model. An additional Orlan LCG configuration is assessed using the manikin and compared to the baseline LCG.
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.
Journal Article

Minimizing EVA Airlock Time and Depress Gas Losses

This paper describes the need and solution for minimizing EVA airlock time and depress gas losses using a new method that minimizes EVA out-the-door time for a suited astronaut and reclaims most of the airlock depress gas. This method consists of one or more related concepts that use an evacuated reservoir tank to store and reclaim the airlock depress gas. The evacuated tank can be an inflatable tank, a spent fuel tank from a lunar lander descent stage, or a backup airlock. During EVA airlock operations, the airlock and reservoir would be equalized at some low pressure, and through proper selection of reservoir size, most of the depress gas would be stored in the reservoir for later reclamation. The benefit of this method is directly applicable to long duration lunar and Mars missions that require multiple EVA missions (up to 100, two-person lunar EVAs) and conservation of consumables, including depress pump power and depress gas.
Technical Paper

Methodologies for Critical Body Organ Space Radiation Risk Assessments

One of the risks associated with long-term space flights is cancer incidence resulting from chronic exposure to space radiation. Assessment of incurred risk from radiation exposure requires quantifying the dose throughout the body. The space radiation exposure received by Space Shuttle astronauts is measured by thermoluminescent dosimeters (TLDs) worn during every mission. These dosimeters measure the absorbed dose to the skin, but the dose to internal organs is required for estimating the cancer risk induced by space radiation. A method to extrapolate these skin dose measurements to realistic organ specific dose estimates, using the Computerized Anatomical Man (CAM) and Computerized Anatomical Female (CAF) models, is discussed in detail. A transport code, which propagates high energy nucleon and charged particles, is combined with the CAM/CAF-generated shielding areal distributions to evaluate the absorbed dose at selected organ sites.
Technical Paper

Lunar-Mars Life Support Test Project Phase III Water Recovery System Operation and Results

An integrated water recovery system was operated for 91 days in support of the Lunar Mars Life Support Test Project (LMLSTP) Phase III test. The system combined both biological and physical-chemical processes to treat a combined wastewater stream consisting of waste hygiene water, urine, and humidity condensate. Biological processes were used for primary degradation of organic material as well as for nitrification of ammonium in the wastewater. Physical-chemical systems removed inorganic salts from the water and provided post-treatment. The integrated system provided potable water to the crew throughout the test. This paper describes the water recovery system and reviews the performance of the system during the test.
Technical Paper

International Space Station Waste Collector Subsystem Risk Mitigation Experiment Design Improvements

The International Space Station Waste Collector Subsystem Risk Mitigation Experiment (ISS WCS RME) was flown as the primary (Shuttle) WCS on Space Shuttle flight STS-104 (ISS-7A) in July 2001, to validate new design enhancements. In general, the WCS is utilized for collecting, storing, and compacting fecal & associated personal hygiene waste, in a zero gravity environment. In addition, the WCS collects and transfers urine to the Shuttle waste storage tank. All functions are executed while controlling odors and providing crew comfort. The ISS WCS previously flew on three Shuttle flights as the Extended Duration Orbiter (EDO) WCS, as it was originally designed to support extended duration Space Shuttle flights up to 30 days in length. Soon after its third flight, the Space Shuttle Program decided to no longer require 30 day extended mission duration capability and provided the EDO WCS to the ISS Program.
Technical Paper

Interactive Simulation-Based Testing of Product Gas Transfer Integrated Monitoring and Control Software for the Lunar Mars Life Support Phase III Test

Gas transfer systems in a closed life support test were controlled by intelligent layered monitoring and control software. Interactive simulation-based testing was used for system-level validation of the discrete sequencer layer of the software. An advanced discrete event simulation tool was used to model diverse components and systems for processing gases in a plant growth chamber, crew chamber and incinerator, and transferring gases between chambers. Models included physico-chemical and biological gas processors, pumps, concentrators, chambers and tanks, and devices for configuring and controlling gas transfer. Several types of control were modeled. This paper describes the models, the testing approach, and some results of the testing.
Technical Paper

ISS Phase 1 EVA Experience

This paper summarizes specific and general lessons learned regarding extravehicular activity (EVA) during the joint U.S. and Russian Shuttle-Mir Program. Source data are drawn from the first hand experiences and publications accessible to the author who served as the U.S. co-chair of the Phase 1 Joint EVA Working Group. The information presented is pertinent to ongoing International Space Station (ISS) efforts and advanced exploration programs. Overall, this paper strives to show that EVA is just one component of an integrated manned space system and that its safety and success in this era of complex global ventures are reliant upon knowledge and experience balanced with new ideas.
Technical Paper

Further Testing of an Amine-Based Pressure-Swing System for Carbon Dioxide and Humidity Control

In a crewed spacecraft environment, atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) and moisture control are crucial. Hamilton Sundstrand has developed a stable and efficient amine-based CO2 and water vapor sorbent, SA9T, that is well suited for use in a spacecraft environment. The sorbent is efficiently packaged in pressure-swing regenerable beds that are thermally linked to improve removal efficiency and minimize vehicle thermal loads. Flows are controlled with a single spool valve. This technology has been baselined for the new Orion spacecraft, but additional data was needed on the operational characteristics of the package in a simulated spacecraft environment. One unit was tested with simulated metabolic loads in a closed chamber at Johnson Space Center during the latter part of 2006. Those test results were reported in a 2007 ICES paper.
Technical Paper

Early Results of an Integrated Water Recovery System Test

The work presented in this paper summarizes the early results of an integrated advanced water recovery system test conducted by the Crew and Thermal Systems Division (CTSD) at NASA-Johnson Space Center (JSC). The system design and the results of the first two months of operation are presented. The overall objective of this test is to demonstrate the capability of an integrated advanced water recovery system to produce potable quality water for at least six months. Each subsystem is designed for operation in microgravity. The primary treatment system consists of a biological system for organic carbon and ammonia removal. Dissolved solids are removed by reverse osmosis and air evaporation systems. Finally, ion exchange technology in combination with photolysis or photocatalysis is used for polishing of the effluent water stream. The wastewater stream consists of urine and urine flush water, hygiene wastewater and a simulated humidity condensate.
Technical Paper

Development of a Test Facility for Air Revitalization Technology Evaluation

Development of new air revitalization system (ARS) technology can initially be performed in a subscale laboratory environment, but in order to advance the maturity level, the technology must be tested in an end-to-end integrated environment. The Air Revitalization Technology Evaluation Facility (ARTEF) at the NASA Johnson Space Center (JSC) serves as a ground test bed for evaluating emerging ARS technologies in an environment representative of spacecraft atmospheres. At the center of the ARTEF is a hypobaric chamber which serves as a sealed atmospheric chamber for closed loop testing. A Human Metabolic Simulator (HMS) was custom-built to simulate the consumption of oxygen, and production of carbon dioxide, moisture and heat by up to eight persons. A variety of gas analyzers and dew point sensors are used to monitor the chamber atmosphere and the process flow upstream and downstream of a test article. A robust vacuum system is needed to simulate the vacuum of space.
Technical Paper

Development of a Gravity Independent Nitrification Biological Water Processor

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

Development Status of the VPCAR Water Processor Assembly

The purification of waste water is a critical element of any long-duration space mission. The Vapor Phase Catalytic Ammonia Removal (VPCAR) system offers the promise of a technology requiring low quantities of expendable material that is suitable for exploration missions. NASA has funded an effort to produce an engineering development unit specifically targeted for integration into the NASA Johnson Space Center's Integrated Human Exploration Mission Simulation Facility (INTEGRITY) formally known in part as the Bioregenerative Planetary Life Support Test Complex (Bio-Plex) and the Advanced Water Recovery System Development Facility. The system includes a Wiped-Film Rotating-Disk (WFRD) evaporator redesigned with micro-gravity operation enhancements, which evaporates wastewater and produces water vapor with only volatile components as contaminants. Volatile contaminants, including organics and ammonia, are oxidized in a catalytic reactor while they are in the vapor phase.
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

Decompression Gas Phase Formation in Simulated Null Gravity

The incidence of decompression sickness (DCS) in space appears to be less than that predicted to occur on the basis of ground based altitude chamber trials. Our current work uses six hours of chair rest adynamia and likewise produces fewer gas bubbles when compared to standing in a cross over study. Mild exercise during oxygen prebreathe is also very efficacious in reducing DCS and bubble formation (measured by Doppler ultrasound). The effect is postulated to be the result of the alteration in the populations of tissue micronuclei such that the radii are reduced. Surface tension then becomes too great for bubble growth from the existing inert gas partial pressures.