Airbus transports new life support system for International Space Station
March 20, 2018: Airbus has recently delivered the Advanced Closed Loop System (ACLS), an advanced life support system to purify air and produce oxygen for the International Space Station (ISS).
According to Airbus, the ACLS will be installed in the HTV-7 space transporter at the Tanegashima Space Center in Japan, and will be subsequently transported to the ISS in August 2018.
The system produces water, more or less as a by-product of the technology. ACLS was developed by Airbus for the European Space Agency (ESA), which is expected to be used as a technology demonstrator by the ISS, from this year summer.
The ACLS extracts a portion of carbon dioxide in the cabin atmosphere using hydrogen obtained from splitting water molecules, and subsequently converts it to methane and water. The process is known as the Sabatier. Oxygen is then produced from the water using electrolysis. This increases overall system efficiency, and reduces the need for supplies from Earth.