Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Exhaling For Exploration: Scientists Test Lunar Breathing System

Date:
May 8, 2008
Source:
National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Summary:
Imagine yourself hip-to-hip, shoulder-to-shoulder, inside a room the size of a walk-in closet for eight hours with five people you just met. Does that make you sweat? Or maybe make your breathing a little more animated? For three weeks, 23 volunteers dedicated time to do just that -- sweat and breathe -- inside a test chamber so NASA scientists at Johnson Space Center in Houston could measure the amount of moisture and carbon dioxide absorbed by a new system being developed for future space vehicles. The system is designed to control carbon dioxide and humidity inside a crew capsule to make air breathable and living space more comfortable.

Volunteers were bolted inside a test chamber and sweated for NASA scientists at Johnson Space Center in Houston to test a new system being developed for future space vehicles. The system, known as the carbon-dioxide and moisture removal amine swing-bed, or CAMRAS, is designed to make air breathable and the living space more comfortable by controlling carbon dioxide and humidity inside a crew capsule.
Credit: NASA

Imagine yourself hip-to-hip, shoulder-to-shoulder, inside a room the size of a walk-in closet for eight hours with five people you just met. Does that make you sweat? Or maybe make your breathing a little more animated?

For three weeks, 23 volunteers dedicated time to do just that -- sweat and breathe -- inside a test chamber so NASA scientists at Johnson Space Center in Houston could measure the amount of moisture and carbon dioxide absorbed by a new system being developed for future space vehicles. The system is designed to control carbon dioxide and humidity inside a crew capsule to make air breathable and living space more comfortable.

The tests, which took place from April 14 to May 1, are some of the first to use human subjects in support of NASA's Orion crew capsule, Altair lunar lander and lunar rovers.

"We're moving from paper studies to tests with hardware that will evolve and become part of the spacecraft that will fly back to the moon," said test volunteer and NASA engineer Evan Thomas at Johnson.

Known as the Carbon-dioxide and Moisture Removal Amine Swing-bed, or CAMRAS, the Exploration Life Support project within NASA's Exploration Technology Development Program is developing the new system. The program is investigating technologies that will help sustain life on exploration vehicles and reduce the dependence on resupply from Earth.

"Our goal for CAMRAS is to develop a simple, regenerative, lightweight device that will work for both the Orion crew capsule and the Altair lunar lander," said lead researcher Jeff Sweterlitsch.

Testing on the device began more than a year ago with machines used to create humidity and carbon dioxide in the test chamber. The tests proved the system worked well, but the machines could not generate the wide variety of metabolic loads -- amounts of energy the body's chemical reactions produce to maintain life -- that humans create.

This series of tests put volunteers inside a test chamber scaled to be the size of the Orion crew capsule, about 570 cubic feet. The volunteers, who were selected and grouped to replicate a typical crew, were asked to sleep, eat and exercise during test sessions that lasted from a few hours to overnight.

"The air smelled a little artificial, like on a plane, and it was a little crowded," said Aaron Hetherington, one of the volunteers and a director for the test. "But the air was fine; the temperature comfortable. My biggest observation is that it was unremarkable, which is good because that means the hardware was working."

Two additional phases of testing on CAMRAS are planned.

The CAMRAS absorption beds are regenerated by the vacuum of space, and processing the carbon dioxide and moisture requires little energy. CAMRAS uses an organic compound known as amine that absorbs the carbon dioxide and water vapor from the cabin's atmosphere. The system then vents the two waste products overboard, and the vacuum of space regenerates the amine to work again.

The Exploration Life Support project also is developing technologies that will recover oxygen and water vapor, recycle spacecraft wastewater into drinking water and recover usable resources from wastes.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by National Aeronautics and Space Administration. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

National Aeronautics and Space Administration. "Exhaling For Exploration: Scientists Test Lunar Breathing System." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 8 May 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/05/080508091605.htm>.
National Aeronautics and Space Administration. (2008, May 8). Exhaling For Exploration: Scientists Test Lunar Breathing System. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 1, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/05/080508091605.htm
National Aeronautics and Space Administration. "Exhaling For Exploration: Scientists Test Lunar Breathing System." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/05/080508091605.htm (accessed August 1, 2014).

Share This




More Space & Time News

Friday, August 1, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

New Study Says The Moon Was Deformed Early In Its History

New Study Says The Moon Was Deformed Early In Its History

Newsy (July 31, 2014) Scientists say when the moon was young, it was deformed by the Earth's gravitational pull, which gave it a lemon-like shape. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Supply Ship Takes Off for International Space Station

Supply Ship Takes Off for International Space Station

AFP (July 30, 2014) The European Space Agency's fifth Automated Transfer Vehicle (ATV-5) is takes off to the International Space Station on an Ariane 5 rocket from French Guiana. Duration: 00:34 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Rocket Launches Into Space With Cargo Ship

Raw: Rocket Launches Into Space With Cargo Ship

AP (July 30, 2014) Arianespace launched a rocket Tuesday from French Guiana carrying a robotic cargo ship to deliver provisions to the International Space Station. (July 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
In Virginia, the Rise of a New Space Coast

In Virginia, the Rise of a New Space Coast

AP (July 30, 2014) Every summer, tourists make the pilgrimage to Chincoteague Island, Va. to see wild ponies cross the Assateague Channel. But, it's the rockets sending to supplies to the International Space Station that are making this a year-round destination. (July 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins