2020 and Beyond: Required
Radiation Protection Systems. As described in Chapter 7, NASA would benefit from additional work in radiation shielding, countermeasures, and mitigators. NASA should continue to develop radiation protection and mitigation technologies and demonstrations. (T19)
Thermoregulation Technologies. NASA should develop and demonstrate technologies to support thermoregulation of habitats, rovers, and spacesuits on the lunar surface. Areas of biological and physical science research that could help enable the development of those technologies include understanding the human response characteristics to extreme physical conditions (temperature, pressure, oxygen level, etc.) and developing materials and methods to protect humans from these extreme conditions. (T20)
Closed-Loop Air Revitalization. NASA could achieve a significant savings in resupply/consumables by closing the air loop. Technology needs include CO2 removal, recovery, and reduction; O2 generation via electrolysis with high pressure capability; improved sorbents and catalysts for trace contaminant control; and atmosphere particulate control and monitoring. Fundamental physical sciences research to support the development of these technologies includes understanding the effects of gravity on the coupling of electrochemical systems with multiphase flow physics. (T21)
Closed-Loop Water Recovery. As with closed-loop air revitalization, NASA would benefit from significant savings in resupply/consumables with closed-loop water recovery. Technology needs include water recovery from wastewaters and brines, pretreatments, biocides, low expendable rates, and robustness. More fundamental work is also needed to assess the effect of variable gravity on multiphase flow systems (i.e., water management and recycling). (T22)
Dust Mitigation Technologies. Dust has a well-known adverse effect on life support systems. NASA should develop technologies to mitigate or eliminate the effects of dust on systems and hardware. Dust may coat solar energy harvesting systems, contaminate supplies, scuff equipment, create thermal control problems, and cause seal failures. NASA should develop, demonstrate, and test dust mitigation technologies needed to overcome these problems. Fundamental physical science research is needed to support the development of these technologies, specifically to understand the coupling of electrostatic fields and dust particulates dynamics in any dust mitigation technology. (T23)
2020 and Beyond: Highly Desirable
Solid Waste Treatment. NASA should develop and demonstrate long-duration waste stabilization and water recovery from solid wastes. As with closed-loop air revitalization, NASA would benefit from significant savings in resupply/consumables with recovery of water from solid waste.
Food Production and Bioregenerative Life Support Systems. As described in the recommendations in Chapter 4 of this report, NASA should develop an incremental approach toward the development of a bioregenerative life support system.
Although they are relatively rare events, fires have occurred in space vehicles and habitats and will occur again. Fire safety is critical to any human space exploration because fires can have devastating consequences, including loss of life, loss of vehicle or habitat integrity, and mission failure. Historically, fire safety R&D has been treated as a subset of combustion research. While both basic and applied combustion research support fire safety research and it is essential to pursue deeper understanding of the combustion processes involved (see Chapter 9), many of