26

It can be hard to see because it's on the front of the PLSS behind the astronaut's helmet. (NASA photo of Irwin on Apollo 15, I cropped it and added the arrow) Here's an exploded view showing the vent opening; the sublimator isn't labeled, but it's clearly the same device labeled in the image in the question. From Apollo EMU Experience Report, I added the ...


24

For the ISS, the relevant bit of kit would be the Trace Contaminant Control System, which is part of the Air Revitalisation System. A Trace Contaminant Control System ensures that over 200 various trace chemical contaminants generated from material off-gassing and crew metabolic functions remain within allowable limits. A mass spectrometer measures the ...


21

How does SpaceX plan to supply or recycle respiratory gasses? As with most questions about SpaceX, the answer to this question is essentially that SpaceX is a private company, and unless either SpaceX or Elon Musk have made a public statement about this, the answer (IFF there is an answer at all, i.e. if they even have a plan), we simply do not know and ...


19

Why this wouldn't work? It works for the Earth; the reason why it is not implemented in space is purely in the engineering limitations. Cyanobacteria live in water, humans live in air. Gravity is good at separating water from air, leaving a surface for the gas exchange. Microgravity is very good at mixing everything, so we should think about another ...


11

Another engineering aspect is controllability. Most electrical/mechanical/chemical life support systems can be throttled to anywhere between 0% and 100% of production capacity within minutes, if not seconds. In particular you can shut the system down for repairs and also carry a fully inert system as a cold spare. And since the atmosphere inside a spacecraft ...


8

Environmental Control, and Life Support Systems need to be tailored to their application. There are many tradeoffs such as how much they weigh, how complex they are, how reliable they are and how efficient they are. As a general rule the longer the duration of the mission, the greater the gains from life support closure. So missions of a few days can get by ...


4

The US side of ISS uses a cyclic machine called the Carbon Dioxide Removal Apparatus (CDRA) to absorb CO2 from the air and then vent it to space. You can read about the cycles of the CDRA in this answer and its linked references. Older spacecraft used lithium hydroxide (LiOH) canisters, which were a disposable item, and therefore more problematic for the ISS....


3

In light of a very recent news item I thought I'd turn my comments into answer so the information isn't lost should comments be deleted. Having visited a mineral processing plant that used bacteria to treat ground up minerals from a mine, two things struck me about plants that rely on bacteria to do useful work. The first is the bacteria usually need a ...


3

Apparently some people in Japan think so! From today's BBC's Japan developing wooden satellites to cut space junk: Sumitomo Forestry said it has started research on tree growth and the use of wood materials in space. The partnership will begin experimenting with different types of wood in extreme environments on Earth. and later "We are very ...


2

The most that have been on the ISS at one time is 13 persons, but only for a short duration during crew changeover. Reference: www.space.com/6503-population-space-historic-high-13.html


2

Several NASA-related papers mention partial-pressure CO2 sensors in use. I found a quick mention in a Wiki page about SCUBA equipment (oxygen sensing in their case) which says This type of sensor operates by measuring the voltage generated by a small electro-galvanic fuel cell. edit Per JRE's comment - the voltage here is generated by the chemical ...


1

Any spacecraft on upper stages of the launch vehicle is thermally stabilized under the fairing. When the spacecraft is at the cosmodrome, the thermal regime is usually provided with the help of ground-based means. In this photo, you can see two ducts from the fairing to the air conditioner. Air supply to the lower part of the head unit by means of mobile ...


1

The suits themselves did not have CO$_2$ scrubbers. However, they were connected to one of three life support systems: The portable life support system (PLSS). This is the "backpack" that the astronauts wore on the moonwalks. It held one LiOH cartridge which scrubbed CO$_2$ from the air. The first problem is that no mission carried enough PLSS'...


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