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Multipurpose Waste Disposal Bags for Heat Melt Compactor Application, Phase I

Completed Technology Project

Project Introduction

Trash bags from the International Space Station (ISS) are currently stored on-board until they are returned to earth for disposal. Alternate methods are seriously being considered for long duration missions such as travel to Moon and Mars. NASA Exploration Life Support system is currently developing an Heat Melt Compactor (HMC) for waste management for long duration missions. Using HMC, trash can be compacted into disks instead of allowing the trash-filled containers to occupy valuable space in the spacecraft. Such compacted trash can potentially be useful as radiation shields. In order to assist the HMC process, MMI will develop a multipurpose trash bag that will be capable of storing waste generated during travel in space. The waste bag will allow water vapor to pass through during hot melt compactor processing. The bag will also enable encapsulation of the compacted product and will be amenable for sterile storage. In the Phase I effort, waste container bags will be tested for containment of simulated trash typically used on a space mission. The waste container bag material will be tested for removal of water from the bag during the hot melt compaction process. After removal of water, the dehydrated solid compacts will be tested for the prevention of harmful microbial growth. In the Phase II effort, the waste bag material design and volume will be optimized to fit the NASA's hot melt compactor systems that will be used in long duration travels in space. More »

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