National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Environmental Control and Life Support (ECLS) Technology Development and Maturation for Exploration: 2013 to 2014 Overview
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Strategic Space Technology Investment Plan (SSTIP) was released in December 2012. This plan, crafted from a series of draft Space Technology Roadmaps that were reviewed and critiqued by the National Research Council with input from public and key stakeholders, provides guidance for NASA’s space technology investment over the next four years to support a 20-year space exploration horizon. Environmental Control and Life Support (ECLS) is among the eight (8) core technology investment areas that the SSTIP specifically identifies as indispensable for NASA’s present and planned future missions. Improving reliability, reducing logistics burdens, and increasing loop closure are identified as key challenges to lowering overall mission life cycle costs and enabling a wider range of mission opportunities. To meet these challenges, the NASA ECLS community identified key technology gaps that need to be filled in order to enable and enhance representative classes of exploration missions. Over the last year, the effort to identify and prioritize technology gaps has evolved to include implementation planning through the efforts of newly-established NASA System Maturation Teams. An important component of this planning has been to assist senior agency leaders and program managers to understand ECLS investment needs and to organize a coherent, integrated investment strategy that leverages contributions across multiple directorates and programs. The integrated strategy also served as a guide for project and task managers as they worked to tailor individual technology development and maturation projects and task plans for 2013-14 to better and more cost-effectively meet the agency’s strategic needs. This paper provides an overview of the refined ECLS strategic planning, as well as a synopsis of key technology and maturation project tasks that occurred in 2013 and early 2014 to support the strategic needs. Plans for the remainder of 2014 and subsequent years are also described.
Robyn L. Gatens, NASA Headquarters, USA
James L. Broyan, NASA Johnson Space Center, USA
Ariel V. Macatangay, NASA Johnson Space Center, USA
Jordan L. Metcalf, NASA Johnson Space Center, USA
Sarah Shull, NASA Johnson Space Center, USA
Robert M. Bagdigian, NASA Marshall Space Flight Center, USA
Ryan Stephan, NASA Glenn Research Center, USA
The 44th International Conference on Environmental Systems was held in Tuscon, Arizona, USA on 13 July 2014 through 17 July 2014.