. 24/7 Space News .
Life support upgrades arrive at station, improve reliability for Moon, Mars Missions
by Janet Anderson for MSFC News
Huntsville AL (SPX) Mar 10, 2020

Marshall's ECLSS team completes critical updates to the space station's water recovery system two months ahead of schedule.

NASA delivered upgraded life support hardware to the International Space Station March 9 aboard SpaceX's 20th resupply mission.

Improving life support with reliable systems will help enable human exploration to the Moon and Mars. Building on experience gained at the space station over the last 20 years, NASA will land the first woman and next man on the Moon by 2024 through the Artemis program and prepare to extend humanity farther into the solar system.

The station's water recovery system provides clean water by reclaiming wastewater - including water from crew members' urine, cabin humidity condensate and water from the hydration system inside crew members' spacesuits. The redesigned urine distillation assembly - which boils astronauts' urine to begin purification - will be installed into the space station's urine processor assembly and tested to ensure the hardware functions as intended.

The recovered water must meet stringent purity standards before it can be used to support crew, spacewalk, or payload activities. Water produced by the urine processor is combined with all other wastewaters and delivered to the water processor for treatment.

The water processor sends the water through a series of filtering materials and chemical reactions for purification. The water purity is checked by electrical sensors in the systems, and unacceptable water is reprocessed until it meets purity standards. Clean water is sent to a storage tank - ready for the crew to use.

Observing the urine processor assembly in action since its installation in 2008 has revealed some weak points in the system - specifically concerning the long-term reliability of the hardware.

"One of the most important things we've learned in the last 12 years of the hardware's orbital operation is that the hardware is vulnerable in its steam environment," said Jennifer Pruitt, Environmental Control and Life Support System (ECLSS) urine processor assembly project manager at Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama. "We took those lessons learned and upgraded our urine distillation assembly to create a more reliable system equipped to travel to the Moon, Mars and beyond."

These upgrades focus on internal redesigns - including a new toothed belt drive system, bearing seals, Teflon spacer and liquid level sensor - all of which will aid in controlling the hardware's steam and fluid environment to provide the crew with the cleanest water possible.

The ECLSS team has spent the last two years updating components of the space station's water recovery system. To conserve costs and manage size constraints, Marshall's ECLSS team came together to think of creative ways to address known issues and improve the system's reliability without entirely replacing the components. After several rounds of brainstorming, iterative design and testing, the team completed the hardware build two months ahead of schedule - landing the hardware on an early resupply mission for a technology demonstration aboard the space station.

"This team sees the importance of the project for Marshall, the space station, the astronauts and for furthering deep space exploration," Pruitt said. "They embody what I love about working here: taking pride in your work, really caring about something and making it happen."

Deep space missions in the future will rely heavily on efficient use of resources. The great distances traveled and the limited space on the vehicles will limit water resupply.

"Improving the efficiency and reliability of the current system will diminish the need for an excess of spare parts on board," Pruitt said. "With less maintenance required, the crew can focus on the science at hand."

Marshall and other NASA field centers will continue working to develop regenerative life support hardware to maximize recycling of water and oxygen to sustain life and allow humans to travel deeper into space than ever before.

Related Links
NASA Artemis Program
Space Tourism, Space Transport and Space Exploration News

Thanks for being there;
We need your help. The SpaceDaily news network continues to grow but revenues have never been harder to maintain.

With the rise of Ad Blockers, and Facebook - our traditional revenue sources via quality network advertising continues to decline. And unlike so many other news sites, we don't have a paywall - with those annoying usernames and passwords.

Our news coverage takes time and effort to publish 365 days a year.

If you find our news sites informative and useful then please consider becoming a regular supporter or for now make a one off contribution.
SpaceDaily Monthly Supporter
$5+ Billed Monthly

paypal only
SpaceDaily Contributor
$5 Billed Once

credit card or paypal

Bartolomeo external platform to expand commercial usage of the ISS
Kennedy Space Center FL (SPX) Mar 05, 2020
Its days on Earth are numbered - the external platform Bartolomeo is currently waiting for its launch to the International Space Station (ISS) at Kennedy Space Center in Florida inside a SpaceX Dragon capsule. "With the 'research balcony' Bartolomeo, the ISS is entering a new era," says Walther Pelzer, Member of the German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum fur Luft- und Raumfahrt; DLR) Executive Board and head of DLR Space Administration. "This project 'made in Germany' is making a significant c ... read more

Comment using your Disqus, Facebook, Google or Twitter login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle

NASA update on Starliner flight test review

NASA: Boeing software team had too much power over Starliner capsule

Study confirms space-grown lettuce nutritious, safe

An astronaut's guide to applying to be an astronaut

SpaceX announces partnership to send tourists to ISS

Black Arrow marks 50 years since one and only UK satellite launch

SpaceX Dragon heads to Space Station for Monday docking

Aerojet Rocketdyne displays powerful hydrogen rocket engine at Infinity Science Center

Organic molecules discovered by Curiosity Rover consistent with early life on Mars

Moreux Crater on Mars offers evidence of dunes and glacial processes

Curiosity Mars Rover Snaps Highest-Resolution Panorama Yet

Virginia Middle School names NASA's next Mars rover Perseverance

China's Yuanwang-5 sails to Pacific Ocean for space monitoring mission

Construction of China's space station begins with start of LM-5B launch campaign

China Prepares to Launch Unknown Satellite Aboard Long March 7A Rocket

China's Long March-5B carrier rocket arrives at launch site

The impact of satellite constellations on astronomical observations

Blast off: space minnow Indonesia eyes celestial success

Blast off: space minnow Indonesia eyes celestial success

Kleos Space secures 3M Euro loan agreement with Dubai family office

Tech lifestyles enable 'safe escape' from coronavirus

Deep Space Antenna Upgrades to Affect Voyager Communications

Caltech and JPL launch hybrid high rate quantum communication systems

SpaceLogistics selected by DARPA as Commercial Partner for Robotic Servicing Mission

Cosmos: Possible Worlds

Is life a game of chance?

Salmon parasite is world's first non-oxygen breathing animal

Hydrogen energy at the root of life

Ultraviolet instrument delivered for ESA's Jupiter mission

One Step Closer to the Edge of the Solar System

TRIDENT Mission Concept Selected by NASA's Discovery Program

Findings from Juno Update Jupiter Water Mystery

The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2024 - Space Media Network. All websites are published in Australia and are solely subject to Australian law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. All articles labeled "by Staff Writers" include reports supplied to Space Media Network by industry news wires, PR agencies, corporate press officers and the like. Such articles are individually curated and edited by Space Media Network staff on the basis of the report's information value to our industry and professional readership. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) Statement Our advertisers use various cookies and the like to deliver the best ad banner available at one time. All network advertising suppliers have GDPR policies (Legitimate Interest) that conform with EU regulations for data collection. By using our websites you consent to cookie based advertising. If you do not agree with this then you must stop using the websites from May 25, 2018. Privacy Statement. Additional information can be found here at About Us.