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Deep Space Hardware (MARS)

Posted by: rpspeck - Tue Mar 22, 2005 4:57 am
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Deep Space Hardware (MARS) 
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Post Re: Centrifuge Spins On   Posted on: Tue Aug 08, 2006 8:54 am
G'day Robert,

I realise a centifuge can be used to seperate solid waste but how does it fit in with your life support system? Just what role will it play?

ta

Ralph



rpspeck wrote:
My zero G Centrifuge spins on (one full year of operation at the end of this month). It would have completed the outbound trip to Mars some time ago, and would now be with its human user in Mars orbit. At least one replacement would of course be in storage if needed.



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Post Zero G Centrifugal Evaporator Makes Water Consumption Zero!   Posted on: Thu Aug 10, 2006 6:39 pm
A look at NASA plans make clear what the costs of a very bad water handling plan looks like. A good plan first recognizes what backpackers know – a gallon of water does a lot of washing (even a shower) if used carefully. But more importantly, water recycling is not so difficult, and the result of recycling even the most foul wet products produces the stuff we use on this planet since all the water here is constantly being recycled. Get over squeamishness about this fact of life, or confine your ambitions to places where others will shield you from such realities.

Next recognize that human metabolism PRODUCES water (by combining the Hydrogen in hydrocarbon foods with Oxygen). This is recoverable. I do plan on electrolyzing most of this, along with part of the Oxygen exhaled as CO2 to produce all the breathing Oxygen. This can still give a small net H2O production. No water need be lost except as residues in almost dry waste products. That covers the chemical theory.

From the engineering standpoint, the lack or gravity produces some interesting, but solvable problems. A zero G condenser is necessary to remove water from breathing air (much of the metabolic water produced is exhaled). It will also capture water distilled from solutions and solid wastes. I have operated such a unit. Bulk water (primarily wash water) can be run through a series of “Reverse Osmosisâ€


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Post Still Running   Posted on: Fri Oct 27, 2006 8:32 pm
Our "Zero G" water distillation centrifuge is still running (at 14 times the needed speed) after 14 months of continuous operation. 427 days. Ignoring the accelerated wear created by the extra speed, at 485 days it will have run for 1/2 the time of a low energy Mars mission. If it survises that long (with no apparent wear) a second backup unit would suffice for the entire mission and return trip.


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Post 97% Cost Reduction   Posted on: Fri Feb 02, 2007 6:18 pm
At 523 days and counting, our zero G water evaporator centrifuge is still spinning. This is well over ½ the low energy Mars round trip time – so two systems should be adequate for the whole trip, even if the operating life of one is not sufficient (as will be seen eventually). The speed continues at 14 times the minimum necessary, to provide accelerated life data. Computing actual revolutions, this unit has now accumulated more than 7 times that required for the Mars round trip.

I have recently been reviewing the NASA figures for consumables on deep space trips, and they come to about 70 pounds per day – most of it wash and laundry water, with none of it recycled (70,000 pounds per crew member for the trip). On the other hand, Reverse Osmosis water purifiers work very well (even making sea water drinkable) and distillation is not so difficult. Eliminating 68,000 pounds of supplies per crew member (97%) should make the total systems mass, and cost, noticeably less. The problem with distillation in zero g is that the remnant solids need to be collected, and a reliable way to do this is by evaporation of liquid in a centrifugal bowl, which is what our spinner is all about.

Lightweight systems are feasible and even affordable – as this effort demonstrates.


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Post Chlorella Growing: Unlimited Oxygen   Posted on: Fri Mar 16, 2007 5:48 pm
We have succeeded in growing Chlorella Algae, multiplying a small sample by about a 1000 factor in nutrient solution. This small scale effort is far from being a prototype for deep space colonial farming, but is for me (with my lack of botanical expertise) a significant accomplishment.

This only proves that classic Chlorella is readily available as a starter and can be propagated and grown with simple equipment. This, and associated reading, does confirm that aquarium supplies could produce a significant “pilot plantâ€


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Post MARS: Only the Names are Unknown   Posted on: Thu Mar 22, 2007 9:04 pm
Micro-Space has identified and mastered all the technologies required for a human expedition to Mars. The “Micro-Space/Entrespace Interplanetary Co-opâ€


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Post Regenerable CO2 Scrubbers   Posted on: Fri Apr 13, 2007 11:48 pm
Micro-Space has initiated work with MEA as a regenerable CO2 absorber for deep space applications including Mars missions. This material (Monoethanolamine) is the standard used on nuclear submarines and in many related industrial applications. Oxidative degradation of MEA in industrial applications requires about 0.1 pound MEA replenishment per ton of CO2 removed. This is the CO2 produced per crewmember on a 1000 day Mars mission.

A 50 gram supply of MEA, dissolved in 200 grams of water, is a very modest consumable supply to provide this important respiratory function for each member of a 1000 day Mars expedition. Oxygen, as previously discussed, is regenerated from metabolic products (CO2 and H2O) by electrolysis and other reactions.

Water, produced as a metabolic byproduct and efficiently recycled, is not a consumable.

Non-regenerable CO2 absorbers like LiOH (2,200 pounds/1000 days), or Sofnolime (8,000 pounds/1000 days), while useful for emergencies, are not in the same category (1/10 pound MEA (1.6 ounces)/1000 days).

Preliminary tests show that the gas transfer membranes Micro-Space is using for other “Zero Gâ€


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Post    Posted on: Sun Apr 15, 2007 2:56 am
G'day Richard,

Just a couple of comments. Have you ever considered using bioregenerative life support systems? Also any thoughts about using underwater habitats to test your hardware?

The reason I bring it up is that Australian Lloyd Godson is at this very moment underwater testing such systems.

See: http://www.biosub.com.au/

and here:

http://chamberland.blogspot.com/2007/04 ... first.html

ta

Ralph


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Post    Posted on: Mon Apr 16, 2007 3:27 pm
Thanks for the references. RE bio-systems: These (including Algae) will be essential to manned asteroid mining missions and colonies (even what I call “Micro Coloniesâ€


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Post Still Spinning!   Posted on: Mon Apr 16, 2007 4:41 pm
The Micro-Space “Zero Gâ€


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Post Planetary/Star Camera   Posted on: Mon Apr 16, 2007 7:17 pm
Preliminary design work has been completed on the Micro-Space Planetary/Star camera. This assembly compares the high resolution image of a planet (like Mars) to synchronized high resolution images of several stars. The star cameras must be shielded from the bright light of the nearby planet.

The star images establish a navigational reference system. Relative motion of the planet image, compared to this reference, quantifies the intercept parameters, flyby orbit and periapse. On Mars, the periapse must be controlled to 1 km to keep aerobraking Delta V within 10% of its desired value. Two hundred thousand kilometers from a planet, inbound on intercept, that distance would appear as a one second of arc angular error.

Analysis of the relative motions of the planetary image does not yield the periapse distance directly, but does allow calculation of the specific angular momentum of the spacecraft relative to Mars. Inbound acceleration of the craft will increase its velocity, and decrease the periapse distance (conserving angular momentum until air drag becomes sensible). This increases the velocity, and reduces periapse distance for a low energy mission to Mars by a factor of two, and makes the geometric intercept projection proportionally less critical. About one day before intercept, an unintended 2 cm/sec lateral velocity (0.02 m/s) will produce a 2 km change in projected intercept distance, and the 1 km maximum error in periapse for successful aerobraking.

Reliable aerobraking (particularly into a highly eccentric orbit) demands final course detection and correction to the described accuracy. The Micro-Space camera assembly, with some presently breadboarded subsystems, promises to exceed these requirements.


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Post Spare Fuel >> Life Support   Posted on: Tue Apr 17, 2007 7:45 pm
Continuing status reports (on both forums), our propulsion chemistry has some interesting side effects. We continue to work with Hydrogen Peroxide as an oxidizer. (We are working our way up with more concentrated tests, but are not using 90% yet.) Ninety percent Hydrogen Peroxide offers specific impulse identical to that produced using N2O4 with the same RP-1 fuel. Both storable oxidizers will provide higher performance with Hydrazine based fuels, almost equaling that produced with cryogenic LOX + RP-1. All three fuel systems are adequate (but not necessary “optimumâ€


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Post Symptoms of a Dream Oppressed   Posted on: Wed Apr 18, 2007 8:34 pm
Dwayne A. Day (in “Heinlein’s Ghost (part 2)â€


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Post    Posted on: Sun Apr 22, 2007 9:09 pm
G'day,

Well, here are two who certainly have the spirit of adventure:

http://www.1000days.net/

Reid and Soanya will be spending 1000 days at sea away from land and with out resupply. The 1000 days is about how long a Mars expedition could take so they are calling it the Mars Ocean Odyssey.

One thing of interest is that they will be taking most of their food in dried form but they will be sprouting their beans to supply fresh food. Should work on a Mars mission too.

ta

Ralph


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Post    Posted on: Sun Apr 22, 2007 11:08 pm
Thanks for the reference! I know of others (possibly more technically difficult) but few match this duration: slightly more than an economical Mars mission.


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