Will Astronauts Wash Clothes on the Way to Mars?



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45th International Conference on Environmental Systems


Future human space exploration missions will lengthen to years, and keeping crews clothed without a huge resupply burden is an important consideration for habitation systems. A space laundry system could be the solution; however, the resources it uses must be accounted for and must win out over the reliable practice of simply bringing along enough spare underwear. NASA has conducted trade-off studies through its Logistics Reduction Project to compare current space clothing systems, life extension of that clothing, traditional water-based clothes washing, and other sanitizing techniques. The best clothing system depends on the mission and assumptions but, in general, analysis results indicate that washing clothes on space missions will start to pay off as mission durations approach a year.


Bellevue, Washington
Michael K. Ewert, NASA Johnson Space Center, USA
Frank F. Jeng, NASA Johnson Space Center, USA
The 45th International Conference on Environmental Systems was held in Bellevue, Washington, USA on 12 July 2015 through 16 July 2015.