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Answers Your Questions

From: Maxime Jamaty, of Rosemere Quebec
To: Mark Kirasich, flight director for the orbit 2 team


Question: I would like to know how the crew gets air in the station for breathing. What happens with all CO2 that is produced with the crew's breathing? How is temperature controlled in the station?

Answer: Currently, ISS by itself has no ability to remove CO2 or H2O from the atmosphere. Nor does it have the ability to introduce O2. However, the Orbiter has all the equipment necessary to control atmospheric content, even for the added volume of ISS. While the Orbiter is docked to ISS, air ducting is setup to establish air exchange between the Orbiter and ISS. This ducting is how the Orbiter pushes cool, clean, dehumidified air over into ISS. All the hot, "dirty," humid air flows back to the Orbiter through the open hatches where it is recycled.

When the Service Module is added to ISS in November of this year, ISS will have similar equipment to the Orbiter and will then be able to recycle its own atmosphere and sustain a long duration crew of three.

Baron K. Hall
Orbit 2 ISS Environmental Control and Life Support Systems Officer


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Curator: Kim Dismukes | Responsible NASA Official: John Ira Petty | Updated: 04/07/2002
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