Where does the international space station get their oxygen?
Do they send supply ships with huge oxygen tanks?
- 7 years agoFavorite Answer
"The primary source of oxygen will be water electrolysis, followed by O2 in a pressurized storage tank," said Jay Perry, an aerospace engineer at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center working on the Environmental Control and Life Support Systems (ECLSS) project. ECLSS engineers at Marshall, at the Johnson Space Center and elsewhere are developing, improving and testing primary life support systems for the ISS.
Most of the station's oxygen will come from a process called "electrolysis," which uses electricity from the ISS solar panels to split water into hydrogen gas and oxygen gas.Source(s): NASA Web Site http://science.nasa.gov/science-news/science-at-na...
- ARJ WILLIAMSLv 57 years ago
The ISS uses two main methods of oxygen generation.
The first uses water (that is continuously recycled in the ISS), and uses some energy to electrolyse it into its components, oxygen and hydrogen. The hydrogen is released into space, and the oxygen is then used for breathing. The ISS has two of these oxygen generators, called Electron and the Oxygen Generation System\Assembly (OGS\OGA), although due to the high heat involved in the electrolysis, and the oxygen produced, these systems have become dangerous, and needed numerous repairs and upgrades, to prevent any fires or any harm to the systems.
The second uses chemical reactions to produce oxygen, as some chemical reactions can produce huge amounts of oxygen with few reactants. They still need to send these chemicals up every once in a while, but the chemicals are in solid form, and therefore take up less space and are easier to transport (and therefore saving money) than to send up oxygen tanks. The ISS uses a chemical reaction oxygen generator called Vika, which uses solid lithium perchlorate, which, when ignited, converts two tablets of the chemical into lithium chloride and 600 litres of oxygen. It is mainly used as a backup oxygen generator, if the two electrolysis generators fail, as then you only need to send up the tablets if an emergency happens (they use up about one tablet per person, per day), whereas you are sending up water anyway for the astronauts.Source(s): http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ISS_ECLSS
- chanljkkLv 77 years ago
A simple method is sending oxygen tanks up by supply rockets. Your guess is right.
Obtaining oxygen from water,the electrolysis, and through chemical reaction is not safe enough.
Oxygen is released from green plants, but far not enough.
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- RayLv 77 years ago
Probably oxygen scrubbers. They could grow plants.