Virtual Idea Lab

Research Papers > Life Support Considerations

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    Lunar Life Support System Study: Metabolic Energy & Water Considerations

    (Click on title to download pdf) This research is focused on requirements and methods for supporting human life in space. One of the primary issues investigated is the range of life support consumables (e.g., water, oxygen, and food) needed to support active humans on the surface of the moon on a per-crew per-day basis. A set of hypothetical daily lunar activity scenarios is developed to attempt realistic estimation of lunar energy expenditure levels for both mission planning and consumables provisioning purposes. Metabolic energy expenditures for lunar astronauts will probably be significantly higher on a regular basis than that of average earth-based North Americans. Estimates of life support system consumables (food, oxygen, drinking water, and wash water) clearly indicate that a concerted effort should be made to close the gray water cycle, and possibly the black water cycle as well.
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    Water Reclamation for Remote Environments: an Ecologically Sound Approach

    (Click on title to download pdf) The objective of this paper is to explore the provision of clean, safe and healthy water to people living and/or working in extreme or remote environments by efficiently recycling waste water in a cost-effective and ecologically sound manner. Efficient, cost-effective, and environmentally friendly methods for reclaiming or regenerating used waste water to high standards of purity must employ low cost, low energy processes, and locally available resources, just as the earth itself does. The methodologies so developed will advance the goals of exploring the near-earth solar system, but just as importantly, they will also minimize adverse impacts on the local environment by reducing the use of scarce resources, minimizing waste products, and recycling water along with other so-called waste products. As well as protecting and preserving the extraterrestrial environments of the Moon and Mars, these methodologies might be employed around the earth within small remote communities (such as arctic bases, underwater research facilities, earth-orbiting stations, humanitarian aid outposts or developing indigenous societies) lacking adequate water purification technologies. These applications would certainly help in advancing existing and new technologies associated with human exploration, while at the same time improving upon the quality of life through the provision of safe and clean drinking and bathing water to both space- and earth-based peoples.