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Advanced Exploration Systems Division

NextSTEP Hybrid Life Support (HLSS)

Active Technology Project

Project Introduction

NextSTEP Phase I Hybrid Life Support Systems (HLSS) effort assessed options, performance, and reliability for various mission scenarios using contractor-developed analysis tools and databases. A large scale GreenWall plant growth prototype was also fabricated. The prototype was scaled to accommodate a NASA Exploration Life Support Salad Crop Diet for a crew of four. NextSTEP Phase II baseline efforts encompass two tasks that will result in a high fidelity GreenWall-based HLSS testbed scaled to commercial habitat modules.

The first task will include testing and refinement of the GreenWall subsystems, and the Phase I GreenWall prototype will be upgraded to a high fidelity testbed to allow testing of HLSS technologies at a habitat scale. The second task will include refinement of the Life Support Multidimensional Assessment Criteria (LSMAC) alternative evaluation factors as the salad production architecture is further developed and HLSS life support technologies are further characterized.

The GreenWall plant growth system will also undergo further assessment for its ability to provide radiation shielding using modelling software available from NASA, allowing different materials and hardware configurations to be assessed. Additonal Phase II work includes Parabolic Flight Testing used to develop media-free water and nutrient delivery technologies that are logistically feasible for large scale plant growth systems in space.

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