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Space vehicles -- Water-supply, Water -- Pollution -- Health aspects, Water reuse, Fouling -- Prevention


It is well recognized that water handling systems used in a spacecraft are prone to failure caused by biofouling and mineral scaling, which can clog mechanical systems and degrade the performance of capillary-based technologies. Long duration spaceflight applications, such as extended stays at a Lunar Outpost or during a Mars transit mission, will increasingly benefit from hardware that is generally more robust and operationally sustainable overtime. This paper presents potential design and testing considerations for improving the reliability of water handling technologies for exploration spacecraft. Our application of interest is to devise a spacecraft wastewater management system wherein fouling can be accommodated by design attributes of the management hardware, rather than implementing some means of preventing its occurrence.


This is the author's original version of a white paper submitted to the National Research Council 2009-2010 Decadal Survey on Biological and Physical Sciences in Space: Translation to Space Exploration Systems. Final report can be accessed at

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