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Technical Paper

Air and Water Recycling System Development for a Long Duration Lunar Base

2006-07-17
2006-01-2191
Stored air and water will be sufficient for Crew Exploration Vehicle visits to the International Space Station and for brief missions to the moon, but an air and water recycling system will be needed to reduce cost for a long duration lunar base and for exploration of Mars. The air and water recycling system developed for the International Space Station is substantially adequate but it has not yet been used in operations and it was not designed for the much higher launch costs and reliability requirements of moon and Mars missions. Significant time and development effort, including long duration testing, is needed to provide a flawless air and water recycling system for a long duration lunar base. It would be beneficial to demonstrate air and water recycling as early as the initial lunar surface missions.
Technical Paper

Air and Water System (AWS) Design and Technology Selection for the Vision for Space Exploration

2005-07-11
2005-01-2810
This paper considers system design and technology selection for the crew air and water recycling systems to be used in long duration human space exploration. The ultimate objective is to identify the air and water technologies likely to be used for the vision for space exploration and to suggest alternate technologies that should be developed. The approach is to conduct a preliminary systems engineering analysis, beginning with the Air and Water System (AWS) requirements and the system mass balance, and then to define the functional architecture, review the current International Space Station (ISS) technologies, and suggest alternate technologies.
Technical Paper

Breakeven Mission Durations for Physicochemical Recycling to Replace Direct Supply Life Support

2007-07-09
2007-01-3221
The least expensive life support for brief human missions is direct supply of all water and oxygen from Earth without any recycling. The currently most advanced human life support system was designed for the International Space Station (ISS) and will use physicochemical systems to recycle water and oxygen. This paper compares physicochemical to direct supply air and water life support systems using Equivalent Mass (EM). EM breakeven dates and EM ratios show that physicochemical systems are more cost effective for longer mission durations.
Technical Paper

Dynamic Modeling of ALS Systems

2003-07-07
2003-01-2543
The purpose of dynamic modeling and simulation of Advanced Life Support (ALS) systems is to help design them. Static steady state systems analysis provides basic information and is necessary to guide dynamic modeling, but static analysis is not sufficient to design and compare systems. ALS systems must respond to external input variations and internal off-nominal behavior. Buffer sizing, resupply scheduling, failure response, and control system design are aspects of dynamic system design. We develop two dynamic mass flow models and use them in simulations to evaluate systems issues, optimize designs, and make system design trades. One model is of nitrogen leakage in the space station, the other is of a waste processor failure in a regenerative life support system. Most systems analyses are concerned with optimizing the cost/benefit of a system at its nominal steady-state operating point. ALS analysis must go beyond the static steady state to include dynamic system design.
Technical Paper

Evolution of Life Support from Apollo, Shuttle, and ISS to the Vision for the Moon and Mars

2006-07-17
2006-01-2013
The Environmental Control and Life Support (ECLS) requirements to reach the International Space Station (ISS), the Moon, and Mars as part of the Vision for Space Exploration (VSE) are similar to the earlier ECLS requirements for Apollo, Space Shuttle, and ISS. It seems reasonable that the VSE life support designs will develop in the same way. The ECLS for spacecraft to reach ISS and the Moon can use the Shuttle and Apollo approaches. However, the long duration ECLS for the Moon base should be the same as for Mars, because the Moon will be the testbed for Mars. The ECLS for Mars could be similar to that of ISS, but it should be redesigned to incorporate lessons learned, to take advantage of twenty years technical progress, and to respond to the much more difficult launch mass and reliability requirements for Mars.
Technical Paper

Explaining Space Project Failures

2008-06-29
2008-01-2155
Space projects are spectacular, costly, and highly visible. Their occasional failures receive extensive analysis and explanation. This paper reviews studies of failures of crewed and uncrewed missions. The explanations of these space project failures include simple oversight errors, poor project management, complex combinations of unforeseen events, and conceptual flaws that prohibited success. Failures are usually found to be caused by project management errors, based on the reasoning that the project manager and team members had the capability and responsibility to avoid them. These failure causes are well known. Why do so many projects make the same mistakes?
Technical Paper

Integrated Systems Testing of Spacecraft

2007-07-09
2007-01-3144
How much integrated system level test should be performed on a spacecraft before it is launched? Although sometimes system test is minimized, experience shows that systems level testing should be thorough and complete. Reducing subsystem testing is a less dangerous way to save cost, since it risks finding problems later in system test, while cutting systems test risks finding them even later on orbit. Human-rated spacecraft test planning is informal, subjective, and inconsistent, and its extent is often determined by the decision maker's risk tolerance, decision-making style, and long-term or short-term view. Decisions on what to test should be guided by an overall mission cost-benefit analysis, similar to the risk analysis used to guide development efforts.
Technical Paper

Mars Transfer Vehicle (MTV) Water Processor Analysis

2008-06-29
2008-01-2193
This paper considers the design of a Mars Transfer Vehicle (MTV) water processor. The Constellation Program has begun to consider the first human mission to Mars, and the MTV water processor is of special interest. Mars transit system design is not affected by Extra-Vehicular Activity (EVA) or In-Situ Resource utilization (ISRU). The total duration of Mars transit and return is relatively fixed at about four hundred days, while Mars and lunar surface stays can vary from a few days to many years. The Mars transit water processor will operate in zero gravity, like the International Space Station (ISS) Water Recovery System (WRS), so the ISS WRS design can serve as a reference baseline for the Mars transit system. The paper develops the MTV water requirements and considers the suitability of the ISS WRS for Mars transit. The ISS WRS meets MTV requirements and requires less mass than direct resupply for Mars transfer, but it has excess capacity for the requirements.
Technical Paper

Mars Transit Life Support

2007-07-09
2007-01-3160
This paper considers the design of a life support system for transit to Mars and return to Earth. Because of the extremely high cost of launching mass to Mars, the Mars transit life support system must minimize the amount of oxygen, water, and food transported. The three basic ways to provide life support are to directly supply all oxygen and water, or to recycle them using physicochemical equipment, or to produce them incidentally while growing food using crop plants. Comparing the costs of these three approaches shows that physicochemical recycling of oxygen and water is least costly for a Mars transit mission. The long mission duration also requires that the Mars transit life support system have high reliability and maintainability. Mars transit life support cannot make use of planetary resources or gravity. It should be tested in space on the International Space Station (ISS).
Technical Paper

Multiple Metrics for Advanced Life Support

1999-07-12
1999-01-2079
The Government Performance and Results Act (GPRA) requires NASA and other federal agencies to use goals and metrics. Many Advanced Life Support (ALS) goals and metrics are described in the ALS Program Plan and others have been used in designing life support for the International Space Station (ISS) and earlier missions. These well-established goals can be monitored using familiar metrics. The most important goal of ALS is to have missions successfully fly new life support technology. A new ALS technology will be flown if it provides better safety, availability, performance, or cost. Improvements in these four criteria are the major supporting goals of ALS. An ideal candidate technology would also provide increased self-sufficiency, be useful on different types of missions, and have high potential for technology transfer, but these are incidental benefits that are not required for successful flight.
Technical Paper

Starship Life Support

2009-07-12
2009-01-2466
The design and mass cost of a starship and its life support system are investigated. The mission plan for a multigenerationai interstellar voyage to colonize a new planet is used to describe the starship design, including the crew habitat, accommodations, and life support. Cost is reduced if a small crew travels slowly and lands with minimal equipment. The first human interstellar colonization voyage will probably travel about 10 light years and last hundreds of years. The required travel velocity is achievable by nuclear propulsion using near future technology. To minimize mission mass, the entire starship would not decelerate at the destination. Only small descent vehicles would land on the destination planet. The most mass efficient colonization program would use colonizing crews of only a few dozen. Highly reliable life support can be achieved by providing selected spares and full replacement systems.
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