Abstract

In deep space missions, maintaining life support is of the utmost priority. In such a closed system, human waste must be stored and treated. Simulated feces (ersatz) will be inoculated with microbes representing normal fecal flora, mixed with urine brine and shredded refuse of products typically used in space missions. Composting methods often use alternating layers of waste with scraps of carboniferous materials (finely shredded refuse). By preparing membrane bags with a homogenized ersatz and carboniferous refuse mixture and membrane bags with alternating layers of ersatz and carboniferous refuse, it may be possible to monitor anaerobic thermophillic digestion of the waste if internal temperatures of 45-55°C are reached (these temperatures can kill pathogenic microbes). Monitoring the temperature, pH, and osmolarity of membrane bags filled with this waste over a period of approximately 4 weeks can give valuable data to considering the plausibility of a compost-like procedure to sanitize and store human waste over a long period of time.

Disciplines

Biological Engineering | Biology | Environmental Microbiology and Microbial Ecology | Laboratory and Basic Science Research

Mentor

Michael Flynn

Lab site

NASA Ames Research Center (ARC)

Funding Acknowledgement

This material is based upon work supported by the S.D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation and by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. 0952013. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the S.D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation or the National Science Foundation. This project has also been made possible with support of the National Marine Sanctuary Foundation. The STAR program is administered by the Cal Poly Center for Excellence in Science and Mathematics Education (CESaME) on behalf of the California State University (CSU)., This material is based upon work supported by the S.D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation and by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. 0952013 and Grant No. 0833353. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the S.D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation or the National Science Foundation. This project has also been made possible with support of the National Marine Sanctuary Foundation. The STAR program is administered by the Cal Poly Center for Excellence in Science and Mathematics Education (CESaME) on behalf of the California State University (CSU)., This material is based upon work supported by the S.D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation and by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. 0952013 and Grant No. 0934931. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the S.D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation or the National Science Foundation. This project has also been made possible with support of the National Marine Sanctuary Foundation. The STAR program is administered by the Cal Poly Center for Excellence in Science and Mathematics Education (CESaME) on behalf of the California State University (CSU).

 

URL: http://digitalcommons.calpoly.edu/star/174

 

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