Questions tagged [life-support]

Questions about life support systems in use on spacecraft, space stations, extraterrestrial colonies, or simulated extraterrestrial environments, about their function, design, effectiveness, historical references, or any other considerations regarding their use in space exploration.

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6
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0answers
116 views

Why do spacesuits have air in the body? [duplicate]

Wouldn’t it be easier to make a space suit that only maintains air around the head, and just has a “tight” insulated and shielded suit around the body? It seems to me the reasons we need a space ...
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162 views

Reentry without pressure suits in Apollo: was there a formal risk assesment?

In Apollo 11 Flight Journal the following is stated: The crew will make re-entry without suits or helmets on. Although this was a controversial decision on the first Apollo flight, Apollo 7, when ...
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Algae Bioreactor for O2 and CO2 (and food?) - Any data on required size and power requirements?

I believe that the requirements for a single persons $\require{mhchem}\ce{O2}$/$\ce{CO2}$ balance run somewhere in the region of $8m^2$ of algae, which would seem to be possible in a single $\approx ...
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2answers
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Why doesn't the ISS have more oxygen generators?

According to this article, the O2 reclamation on the ISS is capable of producing about 2kg of O2 per day. However, crews need slightly more than this. What is preventing NASA/Roscosmos/anyone else ...
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4answers
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Are there types of animals that can't make the trip to space? (physiologically)

I thought about what kind of animals could make it to space, and I thought about how vertebrates can apparently withstand the G forces need to travel to the ISS, but I hadn't really thought about ...
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138 views

How many people could the ISS support?

How many people can fit on the ISS? At what person would life support be overwhelmed?
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2answers
186 views

Do current plans for people going to Mars by SpaceX depend only on consumables loaded from Earth?

Do current plans for people going to Mars by SpaceX depend only on consumables loaded from Earth or do they also include obtaining some materials from Mars fairly soon after arrival? Does the plan ...
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131 views

Would a space station be able to watch a world wide cataclysm and how long would the crew be able to survive for? [closed]

I know there is other questions with similar concerns about there being any protocols in pace if the crew of space station were to witness a world wide cataclysm and the survivability of the crew if ...
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1answer
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How did humans grow plants on the Moon despite the harsh conditions?

The Chang'e 4 lander contains seeds to grow plants on the Moon. The Moon has non-sustainable life conditions. Among those are the lack of water, atmosphere, the varying extreme temperatures, the low ...
3
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1answer
152 views

Pressurized Organic Oxygen Pods

Human waste could be used in a hydroponics facility to grow algae in space or Mars in pressurized tanks, and the photosynthesis can be used to convert CO2 to breathable oxygen. A carbon dioxide ...
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2answers
883 views

How long would a stranded Apollo crew have survived on the Moon?

If the Apollo ascent vehicle hadn't been able to take off from the Moon, how long was the crew expected to have survived? And what would the likely natural cause of death be? I've heard that partial ...
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1answer
428 views

Does ISS get a surplus of oxygen or water?

[overhauling the question to get rid of misconceptions, which were irrelevant anyway] In the balance of input/output of the system ISS is, I spotted something that looks like build-up of stockpile of ...
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Could we breathe an atmosphere that is not nitrogen based?

As I understand it, the important part of Earth's atmosphere that we breathe is the oxygen. However, Earth's air is only about 21% oxygen with the rest made up of about 78% nitrogen and 1% other gases,...
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What was the coverage of the Yuegong-1 (Lunar Palace-1) experiment in terms of life-support?

The Yuegong-1 (Lunar Palace-1) experiment in China aimed at evaluating bio-regenerative life-support systems, and crew psychology. Some reports explain: Liu Hong said the test marks the longest ...
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2answers
320 views

How does the sabatier system reduce water shipments to the ISS?

So I thought I'd answered my own question (How close is the ISS to a closed system?), but I just realized there's a missing piece. This is the chemical equation for how hydrogen, oxygen, and carbon ...
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3answers
663 views

How close is the ISS to a closed system, in terms of carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen?

I found this diagram of the ISS ECLSS material flow and noticed the $CO_2$ being vented off the station. source Now, I understand this is outdated since they added a Sabatier reaction system to ...
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1answer
255 views

How big is a human's space bubble?

How big is a human's (space) bubble - in other words: how far could we (as mankind) transport a human being from Earth in such a way that the being would be still alive? (Let's not consider returning.)...
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331 views

Did the Soviet TMK crew have any chance of survival with the knowledge and technology of its era?

In response to the United States announcement of manned moon landing plans, the Soviet Union announced the TMK program. This program would have sent manned missions to Venus and Mars. The original ...
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1answer
324 views

Artificial planet

If we have discovered artificial gravitational force, will we be able to create an artificial habitable planet in our solar system? E.g., if a rotating cylindrical object in space can produce ...
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2answers
4k views

How many times were there thirteen people inside the ISS? Is it hard on the station?

I just saw this photo in @SF.'s answer It is ISS023-E-023513 STS-131 and Expedition 23. The full caption is below. Are there really 13 people on the ISS at one time? Is STS-131 the only shuttle ...
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1answer
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Any potential downside to throwing personal life support out the door on the Moon?

I found this really interesting description of the ALSEP instrumentation placed on the moon during the Apollo 11 landing, written by Hamish Lindsay, (also, author of Tracking Apollo to the Moon). One ...
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3answers
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Could a spacecraft be made out of wood?

Could a spacecraft use organic materials, like wood or bone or shell or other tissues, as an interface to the vacuum and radiation of space? Would wood outgas and crack up in space? I wonder if life ...
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418 views

What limits how long spacecrafts like Orion, Dragon, Starliner can support their crews' lives?

The next generation crewed spacecrafts is about to fly in the decade of 2020. Not only those in the headline here are trying to make it, but more are being developed privately and internationally. ...
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What is the mass of the Cabin Air Rack of the Quest Joint Airlock?

And where should I have looked for this information? The mass of the avionics rack would also be nice.
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1answer
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Why vent $CO_2$ and $H_2$ waste products to space on ISS?

In this answer, it's mentioned that waste $CO_2$ and $H_2$ from the Environmental Control and Life Support Systems (ECLSS) are vented into space from ISS. Are there no other uses for this material ...
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1answer
230 views

Buddy Secondary Life Support System (BSLSS) on American suits

Is the Buddy Secondary Life Support System (BSLSS) available in today's American-made spacesuits used on the International Space Station? The BSLSS enables one astronaut to provide life support (...
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1answer
105 views

Where are the SAFFIRE-I results?

There was a bit of fanfare for the SAFFIRE-I experiment. I got excited... http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/research/experiments/1761.html So they set fire to a Cygnus module before de-orbit....
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1answer
3k views

How have space suits dissipated the heat removed from astronauts?

I never thought about this until reading the comments below this answer. To radiate something like 150W (a very conservative lower limit of human + suit systems heat production - see @Uwe 's comment ...
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1answer
233 views

Life support: fraction of launch weight?

What fraction of launch payload mass for a manned (or animal'd) mission is attributable to life support equipment?
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1answer
333 views

Does it get cold in a container in space?

The image I have is that if we turn off heating in a space vehicle, the cold will be immense. However, I started figuring in terms of energy levels of particles (which is the temperature) and realized ...
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2answers
608 views

Is space suit using algae for oxygen production possible?

Current space suits carry oxygen bottles for oxygen and some sort of non-regenerative carbon dioxide scrubbers for removing carbon dioxide. This obviously means that a space suit is only able to ...
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1answer
1k views

Oxygen toxicity vs Apollo mission preparation

In the article on Apollo command module design, I read: The cabin atmosphere at launch was changed to 60% oxygen and 40% nitrogen at sea-level pressure: 14.7 psi (10.1 N/cm2). During ascent the ...
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1answer
589 views

What is the composition of breathable air on the International Space Station? [duplicate]

On the ISS, the breathable air has to include oxygen, but it can't be pure oxygen for safety reasons. So what is the composition of breathable air on the station?
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1answer
246 views

What is the minimum amount of equipment you would need to make a reasonable amount of oxygen on the Moon with Molten Oxide Electrolysis?

MIT Professor Sadoway believes we can make oxygen anywhere on the moon with Molten Oxide Electrolysis (see here and here). Let's assume that you need to make enough oxygen to sustain an astronaut for ...
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2answers
385 views

Would the life support systems on the ISS and STS work well also in 1g?

Changing gravity level can be a problem for flows of fluids, gasses, heat and for structural loads. Much equipment designed for Earth gravity fail in microgravity (even light bulbs and ballpoint pens)....
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1answer
659 views

Could the ISS pressurized elements withstand a full depressurization?

In case of necessity -- for example in case of fire or contamination -- is it possible for any pressurized element of the ISS to be exposed to vacuum? If all compartments and airlocks were to be ...
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1answer
2k views

Could the Apollo 13 crew have survived the CO2 issue using their spacesuits

In the book on the ill-fated Apollo 13 mission there is a chapter that contains an overview of the consumables on board the spacecraft, and whether or not they might pose a problem to the survival of ...
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7answers
35k views

Why is the breathing atmosphere of the ISS a standard atmosphere (at 1 atm containing nitrogen)?

The Wikipedia page for the International Space Station says that it has a fairly Earth-like, sea-level atmosphere: 21% oxygen, balance nitrogen at 101.3 kPa. Supposedly it's because a pure-oxygen ...
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2answers
1k views

What would determine the interior temperature of a large space station?

If one calculates the black-body temperature of an object in space, it turns out that it would be at room temperature somewhere between the orbits of Earth and Venus. But due to the greenhouse effect, ...
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4answers
4k views

Max g survivable suspended in water?

With something like a coil gun mass driver in mind where the more acceleration the cheaper the design in mind: If you were to suspend the astronauts in a shallow layer of water and horizontally ...
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1answer
2k views

Air in International Space Station

How do astronauts/cosmonauts manage the atmosphere at the International Space Station as their missions are years long, versus shorter flights? Do they recycle? Import via cargo vessels? Electrolyze ...
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4answers
2k views

Do humans need less calories and water in microgravity?

Astronauts in microgravity don't use their legs much. This has negative health effects in the long run. But I wonder if it doesn't have the good side of lowering human need for food and water and thus ...
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3answers
5k views

How long can a 2 person crew survive on ISS totally cut from Earth?

Something goes bad on Earth, ISS is cut from any kind of supply and the escape pods can't be used. If there are 2 people on board at that time, how long can they survive there? Did someone write a ...
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4answers
2k views

What animals, if any, have reproduced in space?

Have any living animals successfully reproduced entirely in space? If none have, what animals have had the most complete reproductive cycles in space?
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2answers
478 views

Does building a vessel to work in vacuum also make it watertight?

Does building a vessel such that it can maintain a breathable atmosphere in a vacuum (like all our manned space vessels) also makes this vessel watertight? If not, why?
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1answer
80 views

What parameters should be monitored during spacewalks?

When an astronaut goes to outer space, what can you measure? I'm thinking about the person's safety, so this is what I got so far: Oxygen level Heart beat Suit pressure Blood pressure Solar radiation ...
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3answers
5k views

Does the ISS need more heating or more cooling?

While reading the recent question 'Do exercise machines on the ISS generate electric energy?', I got thinking all of the exerciser machines generate heat (heat energy). So yes all exercise machine ...
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2answers
424 views

What work is being done to develop and test artificial gravity?

There are many ways to produce artificial gravitational effects, such as a rotating spacecraft, linear acceleration, or harnessing magnetism. Possibly there are other ways to produce gravity that have ...
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2answers
2k views

Depressurization of a habitat on Mars

Wikipedia lists the atmospheric pressure of Mars to be about 600 pascals, or just 0.6% of Earth's atmosphere. I'm wondering, can anyone shed any light on what that means, in practical terms? ...
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1answer
2k views

Were the Apollo CO₂ scrubber canister designs unified after Apollo 13?

After the problem realized when trying to put up three astronauts for an extended stay in the Apollo 13 LEM, namely that the square CM CO₂ scrubbers didn't fit in the LEM's slots, were they redesigned?...