Life Support and Environmental Monitoring International System Maturation Team Considerations
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Human exploration of the solar system is an ambitious goal. Future missions to Mars or other planets will require the cooperation of many nations. Exploration concepts have been gathered by the International Space Exploration Coordination Group (ISECG) at a high level, representing overall goals and strategies of each participating agency. The ISECG Global Exploration Roadmap states that international partnerships are part of what drives the mission scenarios. It states “Collaborations will be established at all levels (missions, capabilities, technologies), with various levels of interdependency among the partners.” To make missions with interdependency successful, technologists and system experts need to share information early, before there are concrete plans and binding agreements. This paper provides an overview of possible ways of integrating NASA, ESA, and JAXA work into a roadmap of life support and environmental monitoring capabilities for future exploration missions. Agencies may have immediate plans, long term goals, or new ideas that are not part of official policy. But relationships between plans and capabilities may influence the strategies for the best ways to achieve partner goals. Without commitments and an organized program, requirements for future missions are unclear. Experience from ISS shows that standards and an early understanding of requirements are an important part of international partnerships. Attempting to integrate systems that were not designed together can create many problems. Several areas have been identified as important to discuss and understand: units of measure, cabin CO2 levels, and fluids like high purity oxygen, potable water and residual biocide, and crew urine and urine pretreat. Each of the partners is exploring different kinds of technologies. Depending on the system concepts, it may be important to define specific parameters, or explore possible ranges. Early coordination can create new possibilities for collaboration, and provide input to determine what combinations create the best overall system.