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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

A New Method for Breath Capture Inside a Space Suit Helmet

2007-07-09
2007-01-3248
This project investigates methods to capture an astronaut's exhaled carbon dioxide (CO2) before it becomes diluted with the high volumetric oxygen flow present within a space suit. Typical expired breath contains CO2 partial pressures (pCO2) in the range of 20-35 mm Hg (.0226-.046 atm). This research investigates methods to capture the concentrated CO2 gas stream prior to its dilution with the low pCO2 ventilation flow. Specifically this research is looking at potential designs for a collection cup for use inside the space suit helmet. The collection cup concept is not the same as a breathing mask typical of that worn by firefighters and pilots. It is well known that most members of the astronaut corps view a mask as a serious deficiency in any space suit helmet design. Instead, the collection cup is a non-contact device that will be designed using a detailed Computational Fluid Dynamic (CFD) analysis of the ventilation flow environment within the helmet.
Technical Paper

Access Systems for Partial Gravity Exploration & Rescue: Results from Prototype Testing in an Analog Environment

2007-07-09
2007-01-3033
An EVA simulation with a medical contingency scenario was conducted in 2006 with the NASA Haughton-Mars and EVA Physiology System and Performance Projects, to develop medical contingency management and evacuation techniques for planetary surface exploration. A rescue/evacuation system to allow two rescuer astronauts to evacuate one incapacitated astronaut was evaluated. The rescue system was utilized effectively to extract an injured astronaut up a slope of15-25° and into a surface mobility rover for transport to a simulated habitat for advanced medical care. Further research is recommended to evaluate the effects of reduced gravity and to develop synergies with other surface systems for carrying out the contingency procedures.
Technical Paper

Aerogel-Based Insulation for Advanced Space Suit

2002-07-15
2002-01-2316
Future spacesuits will require thermal insulation protection in low-earth orbit (LEO), in the near-earth neighborhood and in planetary environments. In order to satisfy all future exploration needs and lower production and maintenance costs, a common thermal insulation is desirable that will perform well in all these environments. A highly promising material is a fiber-reinforced aerogel composite insulation currently being developed at the Johnson Space Center. This paper presents an overview of aerogels and their manufacture, a summary of the development of a flexible fiber-based aerogel for NASA by Aspen Aerogels, Inc., and performance data of aerogels relative to flexible commercial insulation. Finally, future plans are presented of how an aerogel-based insulation may be integrated into a spacesuit for ground testing as well as for a flight configuration.
Technical Paper

Analysis and Design of Crew Sleep Station for ISS

2002-07-15
2002-01-2303
This paper details the analysis and design of the Temporary Sleep Station (TeSS) environmental control system for International Space Station (ISS). The TeSS will provide crewmembers with a private and personal space, to accommodate sleeping, donning and doffing of clothing, personal communication and performance of recreational activities. The need for privacy to accommodate these activities requires adequate ventilation inside the TeSS. This study considers whether temperature, carbon dioxide, and humidity remain within crew comfort and safety levels for various expected operating scenarios. Evaluation of these scenarios required the use and integration of various simulation codes. An approach was adapted for this study, whereby results from a particular code were integrated with other codes when necessary.
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

Automatic Thermal Control Through a LCVG for a Spacesuit

1999-07-12
1999-01-1970
Automatic thermal control (ATC) was investigated for implementation into a spacesuit to provide thermal neutrality to the astronaut through a range of activity levels. Two different control concepts were evaluated and compared for their ability to maintain subject thermal comfort. Six test subjects, who were involved in a series of three tests, walked on a treadmill following specific metabolic profiles while wearing the Mark III spacesuit in ambient environmental conditions. Results show that individual subject comfort was effectively provided by both algorithms over a broad range of metabolic activity. ATC appears to be highly effective in providing efficient, “hands-off” thermal regulation requiring minimal instrumentation. Final selection of an algorithm to be implemented in an advanced spacesuit system will require testing in dynamic thermal environments and consideration of technology for advancement in instrumentation and controller performance.
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

Development Status of the VPCAR Water Processor Assembly

2003-07-07
2003-01-2626
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

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

Development of the CELSS Emulator at NASA JSC

1989-07-01
891477
The Controlled Ecological Life Support System (CELSS) Emulator is under development at the NASA Johnson Space Center (JSC) with the purpose to investigate computer simulations of integrated CELSS operations involving humans, plants, and process machinery. This paper describes Version 1.0 of the CELSS Emulator that was initiated in 1988 on the JSC Multi Purpose Applications Console Test Bed as the simulation framework. The run module of the simulation system now contains a CELSS model called BLSS. The CELSS Emulator empowers us to generate model data sets, store libraries of results for further analysis, and also display plots of model variables as a function of time. The progress of the project is presented with sample test runs and simulation display pages.
Technical Paper

Dynamic Modeling of the Minimum Consumables PLSS

1999-07-12
1999-01-1999
A transient model of the Minimum Consumables Portable Life Support System (MPLSS) Advanced Space Suit design has been developed and implemented using MAT-LAB/Simulink. The purpose of the model is to help with sizing and evaluation of the MPLSS design and aid development of an automatic thermal comfort control strategy. The MPLSS model is described, a basic thermal comfort control strategy implemented, and the thermal characteristics of the MPLSS Advanced Space Suit are investigated.
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

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

ISS TransHab: Architecture Description

1999-07-12
1999-01-2143
This paper will describe the ISS TransHab’s architectural design being proposed as a habitation module for the International Space Station. TransHab is a space inflatable habitation module that originally was designed to support a crew of six as a transit habitat (TransHab) to and from Mars. As an evolution of TransHab, it has transformed into the proposed alternative habitat module for the International Space Station (ISS). A team of architects and engineers at the Johnson Space Center has been designing and testing this concept to make it a reality.
Technical Paper

Immobilized Microbe Microgravity Water Processing System (IMMWPS) Flight Experiment Integrated Ground Test Program

2002-07-15
2002-01-2355
This paper provides an overview of the IMMWPS Integrated Ground Test Program, completed at the NASA Johnson Space Center (JSC) during October and November 2001. The JSC Crew and Thermal Systems Division (CTSD) has developed the IMMWPS orbital flight experiment to test the feasibility of a microbe-based water purifier for use in zero-gravity conditions. The IMMWPS design utilizes a Microbial Processor Assembly (MPA) inoculated with facultative anaerobes to convert organic contaminants in wastewater to carbon dioxide and biomass. The primary purpose of the ground test program was to verify functional operations and procedures. A secondary objective was to provide initial ground data for later comparison to on-orbit performance. This paper provides a description of the overall test program, including the test article hardware and the test sequence performed to simulate the anticipated space flight test program. In addition, a summary of significant results from the testing is provided.
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

International Space Station Waste Collector Subsystem Risk Mitigation Experiment Design Improvements

2002-07-15
2002-01-2304
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

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.
Technical Paper

Mathematical Modeling of Food Systems for Long-Term Space Missions

2002-07-15
2002-01-2290
The quantitative analysis of the food system for long-term space missions is a crucial factor for the comparison of different food plans and for the evaluation of the food system as part of the overall mission. Such analysis should include important factors such as nutrition, palatability, diet cycle length, and psychological issues related to food. This paper will give the details of a mathematical model that was developed during the first author's participation as a Summer Faculty Fellow at Johnson Space Center. The model includes nutrition, palatability, diet cycle length, and psychological issues as important components. The model is compatible with the Equivalent System Mass (ESM) metric previously developed as the Advance Life Support (ALS) Research and Technology Metric.
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