Space Mission Utility and Requirements for a Heat Melt Compactor



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46th International Conference on Environmental Systems


Management of Waste on long-duration space missions is both a problem and an opportunity. Uncontained or unprocessed waste is a crew health hazard and a habitat storage problem. A Heat Melt Compactor (HMC) such as NASA has been developing is capable of processing space mission trash and converting it to useful products. The HMC is intended to process space mission trash to achieve a number of objectives including: volume reduction, biological safening and stabilization, water recovery, radiation shielding, and planetary protection. This paper explores the utility of the HMC to future space missions and how this translates into HMC system requirements.


United States
NASA Ames Research Center
ICES304: Physio-Chemical Life Support- Waste Management Systems- Technology and Process Development
Vienna, Austria
John W. Fisher, NASA Ames Research Center, USA
Jeffrey M. Lee, NASA Ames Research Center, USA
The 46th International Conference on Environmental Systems was held in Vienna, Austria, USA on 10 July 2016 through 14 July 2016.


heat melt compactor, trash processing, long duration space missions, life support, logistics, requirements