Marshall ships air filtration {hardware} to Wallops for ISS


New air filtration know-how developed, constructed, and examined at NASA’s Marshall Area Flight Heart in Huntsville, Alabama, is certain for the Worldwide Area Station – the place it would display superior life assist system capabilities that might assist future explorers on the Moon and Mars breathe simpler.



The brand new {hardware}, often called the 4-Mattress Carbon Dioxide Scrubber, was shipped June 9 from Marshall to NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility in Wallops Island, Virginia, the place it is going to be ready to fly aboard the Cygnus NG-16 industrial resupply mission.



The scrubber is considered one of two next-generation Environmental Management and Life Assist System applied sciences set to be examined on the house station for one 12 months, serving to recycle and regenerate a lot of the air and water essential to maintain its crew – and proving superior regenerative know-how options for upcoming Artemis missions to the Moon and eventual human excursions to Mars. The Thermal Amine Scrubber, delivered to the station in early 2021, makes use of actively heated and cooled amine beds – water purification know-how used all over the world – to take away carbon dioxide from the air.



As soon as put in, the brand new carbon dioxide scrubber will use industrial adsorbent supplies to retain water vapor whereas filtering carbon dioxide out of the house station’s airflow. Adsorption is using beaded porous supplies, often called “molecular sieves,” to separate metabolic carbon dioxide to be discarded or recycled.



The house station’s present Carbon Dioxide Removing Meeting has performed this activity since early 2001. The 4-Mattress Carbon Dioxide Scrubber is a design iteration of the present meeting, incorporating quite a few engineering and know-how modifications to enhance sturdiness and maintainability.



These upgrades and refinements are essential for future exploration missions past Earth orbit. As soon as its 12 months of know-how demonstration is over and the system proves its capabilities, the brand new scrubber unit shall be built-in into the station’s closed-loop recycling system for no less than three years to additional display its viability for long-duration exploration missions and to contribute to station crew life assist capabilities.



As many as 100 Marshall engineers, supplies researchers, and security personnel, plus sensor, filtration, and pump {hardware} specialists at NASA’s Johnson Area Heart in Houston, had a hand within the design, fabrication, and testing of the brand new {hardware} unit, mentioned Donnie McCaghren, undertaking supervisor for the 4-bed CO2 scrubber at Marshall.



“Our major aim was growing effectivity and maintainability, to make sure absolutely functioning, longer-lasting {hardware} on orbit with much less want for crew upkeep,” McCaghren mentioned. “We decreased the scrubber’s energy consumption, improved the thermal stability and lifespan of the adsorbent supplies, and added replaceable filters, extra sturdy valves, and protecting covers for the valve motors.”



The crew additionally upgraded the adsorbent mattress inner heating items and redesigned the beds to be round somewhat than rectangular, which improves efficiency and reliability. In addition they used Marshall’s state-of-the-art 3D printers to prototype and take a look at key elements – a functionality that might allow crews in orbit, in years to return, to shortly print substitute components as wanted, somewhat than look ahead to resupply flights from Earth.



Moreover, the brand new scrubber unit will allow testing of a first-of-its-kind, magnetic bearing air blower to push the air by means of its adsorption beds. The blower was developed by a industrial supplier for NASA to exchange an out of date blower know-how.



The brand new {hardware} is roughly the dimensions of a small fridge and weighs roughly 450 kilos. Its operation and know-how demonstration shall be overseen on orbit by mission controllers at NASA’s Johnson Area Heart in Houston, with persevering with contributions by Marshall house station {hardware} engineers.



The Cygnus NG-16 spacecraft, constructed by Northrop Grumman of Falls Church, Virginia, is scheduled to raise off later this summer season.


Associated Hyperlinks

Environmental Management and Life Assist System at MSFC

Area Tourism, Area Transport and Area Exploration Information



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