US-based Collins Aerospace
, part of Raytheon Technologies Corp, has been awarded a $2.6 million contract by an undisclosed customer for Environmental Control and Life Support Systems (ECLSS) that will support a mission to establish a privately owned and operated orbital outpost in low Earth orbit.
The ECLSS is a suite of technologies that enable livable conditions as low as 250km above Earth’s surface. The ECLSS includes air revitalisation and pressure-control systems made up of cabin fans, heat exchangers, CO2
removal, trace contaminant control, valves, regulators and smoke detection. Additionally, it includes an active thermal control system to maintain optimal temperatures in space.
Dave McClure, Collins Aerospace vice president and general manager (ISR & Space Solutions), said: “A new era of commercial spaceflight is creating the need for Earth-like atmospheres at low orbit destinations.
“This award underscores Collins’ commitment to working with both the private and public sectors on providing the foundation for commercial space travelers to eventually live, work, and play in space.”
Collins takes a holistic and integrated systems approach when architecting space solutions for customers, using advanced materials, tools, and manufacturing processes to provide a comprehensive design, production and post-production support of space solutions.
As space technology evolves for commercial consumption, private companies, NASA and other providers will benefit from the cost savings that result by leveraging existing applications for broader use.
Enabling human space exploration has been a core focus of Collins Aerospace since the Apollo era of the 1960s. The company has developed and manufactured several key life support system technologies for NASA, including the water-recovery system currently in use on the International Space Station.