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Old September 15th 04, 04:08 PM
Jeff Findley
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"Derek Lyons" wrote in message
John Doe wrote:
Systems that use liquids in 0g cannot really be tested on earth. They are
tested and debugged while in orbit. And as time goes on, they discover

problems that crop up. That is what the space station is REALLY all

about. Not
research on how to grow crystals, but how to make and maintain/fix

that are in long term use.

Sensible. The problem is, the Russians advertised this as a
functional device ready for operational service. Like so much else
they have claimed, it's been shown to be a lie.

Elektron works better than the US O2 generator. The real problem is that
NASA didn't bother to fund US backups to Russian equipment. I'm sure this
was partly due to reliance on the shuttle. After all, the US backup plan
would likely have been to just keep sending up O2 to put in the US airlock's
high pressure tanks.

Even if Elektron worked 100% of the time, this still leaves the US with zero
real experience with regenerative life support systems in zero gravity.
This is a serious failure of the US not fully funding its own life support

They'll find the solution to elektron, and this event will contribute to

elektron maintenance manual, MTBF statistics and resupply requirements

the long term.

That's nice. However, the Elektron isn't being manufactured any more.

And if we had to go to mars today, I'd trust Elektron far more than some
newfangled USA (or other country) O2 generator that has not been tested

space yet. There have been enough failures of elektron to have a good

idea of
how much and what maintenance will be required over a long period.

You'd be a fool. Correction... You be a *dead* damm fool.

You'd likely be just as dead with US regenerative life support equipment,
because none of it has been fully tested and debugged in zero gravity. Look
at how little the US CO2 removal system is used. We're certainly not
gaining any experience there that would make me feel comfortable enough to
put it on a Mars ship.

At least the Russians are trying to keep Elektron running. That's far more
than the US is doing in the same field.

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