NASA astronauts will breathe easier with new oxygen recovery systems

Apr 16, 2014
ISS Air Revittilization System rack represents the state of the art in spacecraft oxygen recovery technology. Credit: NASA

For NASA's long-duration human spaceflight missions, travelers will need to recycle as much breathable oxygen in their spacecraft environments, as possible. To turn that need into a reality, NASA is seeking proposals for lightweight, safe, efficient and reliable systems for regenerating oxygen on future human exploration missions.

The first of two phases of this new NASA solicitation will consist of a detailed design, development, fabrication, and testing of an advanced oxygen recovery technology. Under a two year Phase II contract, the proposer then will develop a prototype hardware system, capable of an oxygen recovery rate of at least 75 percent.

"Lengthy spaceflight missions in Earth's orbit and beyond must have life support systems that are more self-sufficient and reliable," said Michael Gazarik, associate administrator for Space Technology at NASA Headquarters in Washington. "The spacecraft life support system technologies for this proposal must significantly improve the rate of oxygen recovery while achieving high degrees reliability. NASA and its partners will need to develop new technologies to 'close' the atmosphere revitalization loop."

In addition to improving the oxygen recovery rate, the new systems must reduce mass required or take up less space and reduce power consumption. NASA's goal is to award technology development efforts that will increase the oxygen recovery rate to at least 75 percent without adversely impacting other design requirements.

Explore further: NASA marks major programmatic milestone for spaceport of the future

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

NASA targets water recycling system for rapid development

Feb 12, 2013

Water is one of the most crucial provisions an astronaut will need to live and work in space. Whether orbiting Earth, working at a lunar base or traveling to Mars, astronauts must save as much water as possible. ...

Recommended for you

Two Galileo satellites lose their way

3 hours ago

Two European Galileo satellites launched as part of a navigation system designed to rival GPS have failed to locate their intended orbit, launch firm Arianespace said Saturday.

SpaceX rocket explodes during test flight

12 hours ago

A SpaceX rocket exploded in midair during a test flight, though no one was injured, as the company seeks to develop a spacecraft that can return to Earth and be used again.

Amazing raw Cassini images from this week

Aug 22, 2014

When Saturn is at its closest to Earth, it's three-quarters of a billion miles away—or more than a billion kilometers! That makes these raw images from the ringed planet all the more remarkable.

Europe launches two navigation satellites

Aug 22, 2014

Two satellites for Europe's rival to GPS were lifted into space on Friday to boost the Galileo constellation to six orbiters of a final 30, the European Space Agency (ESA) said.

SpaceX gets 10-year tax exemption for Texas site

Aug 22, 2014

Cameron County commissioners have agreed to waive 10 years of county taxes as part of an agreement bringing the world's first commercial site for orbital rocket launches to the southernmost tip of Texas.

User comments : 0