Saturday, May 10, 2008

Learning To Breathe (On Artificial Air) Authentic NASA Toys and Replicas
"When you can't breathe, nothing else matters."

~American Lung Association

Breathing is important. Ask any healthy, happy, human being and you will probably receive the same answer regarding inhaling oxygen: it's recommended.

Not too surprising, future lunar explorers are probably going to have to figure out a way to create a breathable system, as importing oxygen from Earth may not be a readily available option.

(Moon Daily) For three weeks, 23 volunteers dedicated time to do just that - sweat and breathe - inside a test chamber so NASA scientists at Johnson Space Center in Houston could measure the amount of moisture and carbon dioxide absorbed by a new system being developed for future space vehicles. [...]

Known as the Carbon-dioxide and Moisture Removal Amine Swing-bed, or CAMRAS, the Exploration Life Support project within NASA's Exploration Technology Development Program is developing the new system. The program is investigating technologies that will help sustain life on exploration vehicles and reduce the dependence on resupply from Earth.

"Our goal for CAMRAS is to develop a simple, regenerative, lightweight device that will work for both the Orion crew capsule and the Altair lunar lander," said lead researcher Jeff Sweterlitsch.

While scientists could always figure out ways to pull oxygen from lunar rock, finding a way to use as little air as possible could help reduce the overall costs of future space missions.

Even thought NASA is using these tests to aid in its plans to revisit the Moon, this technology will become critical for future missions--especially Mars.

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You can either visit the stars or watch them from afar.

But if you choose the former, you'll definitely get a better view.

~Darnell Clayton, 2007

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