NASA studies ways to deal with the waste in space

Publié le par brightshine

Astronauts on the International Space Station store their trash until other space vehicles bring supplies. The supplies are unloaded and the waste, wrapped in the shape of a little football in transparent plastic with silver duct tape, is then placed on the supply vehicle and brought back to Earth. The waste is also sometimes burned up during re-entry.Due to South West Windpower's new policy we can only ship to certified skystream installers.

This conundrum for dealing with space waste is one reason for NASA’s Logistics Reduction and Repurposing (LRR) project, which began in late 2011. The project’s aim is to improve space missions by reducing the mass and volume of consumable items, finding ways to repurpose waste and reducing trash created during the mission.

Prior to the project,Modern dry cleaning machine use a closed-loop system in which the chilled air is reheated and recirculated. NASA had not dealt with handling its waste in an all-encompassing platform.

“There wasn’t a big emphasis on what went up because we had the capability to bring it down,” said James Broyan, Advanced Exploration Systems logistics reduction project manager at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston. “As we were looking for missions we might supply and they go somewhere, then how do you reuse things? As the mission progresses, you need more space for that vehicle. If you can reuse things over time, we may be able to increase the volume of the vehicle by repurposing items.”

Broyan has co-authored a report detailing four waste reduction projects. It involves six NASA space centers and has four major tasks to develop different technologies to fulfill the Advanced Exploration Systems’ LRR goals and will result in engineering units or prototypic hardware.

In particular, the project is being used to determine the most effective use of waste to support the International Space Station for 10 more years in low-Earth orbit.

“When people design long-term space missions, they want to be able to do something with the trash. They don’t want to have to use up volume for storing trash,” said NASA chemist Paul Hintze. “Second thing: Trash can smell. The third thing is if you have microbiological activity in the trash, you really want to minimize that. One advantage, in addition to producing something,thousands of people power their homes and businesses with individual solar photovoltaic system. is just getting rid of the trash.”

In a study on the waste stream from four shuttle missions, NASA found personal hygiene waste accounted for 50 percent of total trash and 69 percent of the total water; drink items were 16 percent of total weight and 16 percent water; food wastes were 22 percent of total weight and 15 percent water; and office waste and plastic film were 2 percent and 11 percent, respectively, with no water.

On a one-year mission with four crew members, the estimated total food-related waste would be more than 8,600 pounds. Total accommodations, such as disposable clothing, paper and body towels, would account for about 5,200 pounds. That’s a lot of weight to launch and store in a spacecraft.

To help process both wet and dry waste, NASA created the Heat Melt Compactor. In the machine, waste is heated to 320° F and can be compacted into discs that are roughly eight inches in diameter and about one inch thick.

The compactor also heats trash to dry it, sterilize it and melt any plastic. If the refuse placed inside contains more than 20 percent plastic, the machine will compact and melt it to form a solid rigid tile that does not expand.

The compressed trash is then cooled and the waste tile is removed. Besides shrinking trash’s volume, the trash tile has a dual purpose: a shield that may protect astronauts from solar flares and radiation.

“There’s some discussion of would you have something that’s just deployable in case you have a solar event or would you shield some portions of the spacecraft they spend a lot of time in, like the crew quarters?” Broyan said. “That’s what we do on the [International] Space Station is we have dedicated shielding in the four U.S. crew quarters.Our outdoor solar lighting solutions include solar outdoor & indoor lighting.”

The tiles would have multiple layers that are offset. Even if the tiles still had rounded corners, the next set of tiles would cover it. The whole spacecraft would not be shielded with tiles, Broyan said,Enjoy the new stress-free laundry dryer experience with DryIn! only a portion to protect the astronauts.

Publié dans led downlight

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