NASA Environmental Control and Life Support Technology Development and Maturation for Exploration: 2017 to 2018 Overview
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Over the last year, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has made steps towards defining a path for extending human presence beyond low Earth orbit. The environmental control and life support (ECLS) technology gap identification and prioritization has remained fairly consistent throughout the past year during which the ECLS community has continued to refine and execute the plan for advancing key technologies and capabilities that enable future exploration missions. The development teams have completed key milestones, moving toward prototypes for ground and on-orbit demonstration. Detailed planning for integrated system demonstrations on ISS has continued. Studies to refine deep space exploration requirements, design and integration considerations were performed. Of particular concern for the emerging deep space exploration architecture was consideration of long-duration intermittent dormancy. This paper provides an overview of the refined ECLS strategic planning and overall roadmap updates as well as a synopsis of key technology and maturation project tasks that occurred in 2017 and early 2018 to support the strategic needs. Plans for the remainder of 2018 and subsequent years are also described.