EVA 101: Life Support Systems


EVA 101 course participants will learn about space medicine, wilderness medicine, human performance, leadership and psychological resilience. The course will dedicate a special focus to extreme environment and wilderness medicine, and how the spaceflight environments may inform triage and first aid scenarios. The on-site portion of this class will focus on wilderness medicine in extreme environments, culminating with triage instruction with scenarios and skills pertaining to wilderness medicine.


Teaching Objectives:

EVA 101 will familiarize the student with the essential features of life support systems required for various types of space missions. This course covers the requirements and design considerations for life support systems in space. Included are an introduction to basic human physiology, a description of the space environment, a survey of historical life support systems, and a presentation of spacecraft limitations and requirements. The course concludes with an introduction to EVA space suit operations with the Final Frontier EVA space suit.

Course Performance Objectives:

Upon completion of the course the students will be able to:

1. Describe those attributes of human physiology requiring protection during in space flight with specific reference to the cardiovascular, fluid and skeletal systems.

2. Describe the impact of the psychological effects of long duration space flight.

3. Describe the evolution of life support systems from Mercury to the International Space Station.

4. Identify each of the 6 sub-systems of the ISS life support system and describe what each does with reference to specific sub systems within each sub system.

5. Discuss the role of air and water reuse in long duration space operations with particular reference to the concept of a closed life support system.

6. Describe the space environment, and describe protection techniques for humans against solar flares, galactic cosmic rays and microgravity.

7. Review and list the limitations placed on logistical support and life support requirements on the major NASA space projects (Moon, DSG and Mars missions).

8. Briefly discuss future life support requirements for missions beyond Earth orbit, including extended stays on the lunar surface and manned missions to Mars. Explain the rationale for human phenotyping, genetic manipulation and human hibernation in the context of long duration missions.

Textbook: Spaceflight Life Support and Biospherics. Space Technology Library


Week 1. Life support introduction

Week 2. The space environment

Week 3. Life support system basics

Week 4. Physico-chemical life support systems Part I

Week 5. Physico-chemical life support systems Part II

Week 6. Bioregenerative life support systems

Week 7. ISS and spacecraft life support systems

Week 8. Future life support system

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