NASA Environmental Control and Life Support Technology Development and Maturation for Exploration: 2018 to 2019 Overview
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NASA’s Environmental Control and Life Support (ECLS) technology development projects have reached important milestones in 2018 and 2019, that represent vital steps toward establishing readiness for the next generation of human space exploration missions. Some of the first technology demonstration systems were delivered for testing and evaluation aboard the International Space Station (ISS). Key reviews have been completed for other systems, and the ISS team is planning for the complex challenges of integrating the multiple technology demonstrations with upgraded ISS systems on orbit. In parallel, planning is beginning for ground testing to be conducted that strategically complements the on-orbit demonstrations. Analyses of reliability and supportability are being considered for their impact on subsystem and system design as well. Outside of the technology development projects, the Gateway program has also defined more detailed plans and schedules, which aid the ECLS community in developing more detailed functional and performance requirements for technolog, and requires the ECLS community to respond with strategies for deploying an early open-loop functional capability that can evolve to provide improved capabilities or greater loop closure. As these plans mature, NASA is also considering where disruptive technologies may provide value, and determining what new gaps or new details may emerge for future missions. 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 2018 and early 2019 to support the strategic needs. Plans for the remainder of 2019 and subsequent years are also described.