Plasma-Assisted Life and Ecological Operating System (PALEOS)

Metadata Updated: May 2, 2019

Practical implementation of long-duration, human space missions will require robust, reliable, advanced life support systems. Such systems have been the subject of research since the dawn of human spaceflight.1 Once astronauts reach the surface, food and water in addition to a sustainable, breathable atmosphere are also a necessity. In situ resource utilization on the surface can greatly reduce launch mass requirements and greatly extend surface operation duration, allowing more detailed and longer duration expeditions.

This effort aims to address both in-transit and surface operations life support needs for a notional human expedition to the Moon, Mars2 and beyond. At the center of this proposed life support system is nonthermal plasma as the active element. Recent advances in plasma science has enabled the application of “cold” plasmas for water purification, air quality control (e.g. indoor pollution), and enhanced agriculture. Electrical energy can be used to convert any atmosphere into a plasma-activated, reactive gas for the purpose of carbon dioxide breakdown and ultimate extraction of oxygen, the generation of reactive species to treat water to all for potable water recycling, the extraction of water from permafrost3, plasma treatment of seeds for enhanced yield, and the plasma treatment for water to infuse important nitrates into solution for enhanced growth (plasma agriculture).4 In the laboratory, these functions have been demonstrated. We stand at the precipice of the advancement of plasma technology that has the transformative potential to greatly both enable and simply life support systems for human spaceflight. Investment in this proposed effort is important in that it sounds the groundwork for a viable advanced life support system that is generic in application. The transportable technology can support deep space transit as well as surface operations. It only requires electrical power—power of which is used to drive electrons to support nonthermal, high selectivity chemical reactions without the need for consumables—rather it utilizes available raw materials as its feed stock firmly grounding the approach as an in situ utilization method.

The goal is to show that plasma-based subsystems can form the basis for a life support system.

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Public: This dataset is intended for public access and use. License: U.S. Government Work

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Metadata Created Date August 1, 2018
Metadata Updated Date May 2, 2019

Metadata Source

Harvested from NASA Data.json

Additional Metadata

Resource Type Dataset
Metadata Created Date August 1, 2018
Metadata Updated Date May 2, 2019
Publisher Space Technology Mission Directorate
Unique Identifier TECHPORT_94047
Maintainer Email
Public Access Level public
Bureau Code 026:00
Metadata Context
Metadata Catalog ID
Schema Version
Catalog Describedby
Datagov Dedupe Retained 20190501230127
Harvest Object Id 8419c3ea-e22a-4851-accf-bf423baad7d4
Harvest Source Id 39e4ad2a-47ca-4507-8258-852babd0fd99
Harvest Source Title NASA Data.json
Data First Published 2018-09-01
Homepage URL
Data Last Modified 2018-07-19
Program Code 026:027
Source Datajson Identifier True
Source Hash d6625d401251991758b5b65307f03e5427293239
Source Schema Version 1.1

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