Waste Management systems

July 16, 2013


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The waste collection system is an integrated, multifunctional system used primarily to collect and process biological wastes from crew members in a zero-gravity environment. The WCS is located in the middeck of the orbiter crew compartment in a 29-inch -wide area immediately aft of the crew ingress and egress side hatch. The commode is 27 by 27 by 29 inches and is used like a standard toilet.

The system collects, stores and dries fecal wastes and associated tissues; processes urine and transfers it to the waste water tank; processes EMU condensate water from the airlock and transfers it to the waste water tank if an extravehicular activity is required on a mission; provides an interface for venting trash container gases overboard; provides an interface for dumping ARS waste water overboard in a contingency situation; and transfers ARS waste water to the waste water tank.

A door on the waste management compartment and two privacy curtains attached to the inside of the compartment door provide privacy for crew members. One curtain is attached to the top of the door and interfaces with the edge of the interdeck access, and the other is attached to the door and interfaces with the galley, if installed. The door also serves as an ingress platform during prelaunch (vertical) operations since the flight crew must enter the flight deck over the waste management compartment. The door has a friction hinge and must be open to gain access to the waste management compartment.

The WCS consists of a commode, urinal, fan separators, odor and bacteria filter, vacuum vent quick disconnect and waste collection system controls. The commode contains a single multilayer hydrophobic porous bag liner for collecting and storing solid waste. When the commode is in use, it is pressurized, and transport air flow is provided by the fan separator. When the commode is not in use, it is depressurized for solid waste drying and deactivation. The urinal is essentially a funnel attached to a hose and provides the capability to collect and transport liquid waste to the waste water tank. The...

Source: spaceflight.nasa.gov
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