Lunar Escape Systems Feb 12, 2011 6:13:04 GMT -4
Post by ka9q on Feb 12, 2011 6:13:04 GMT -4
I think I kept seeing 4 hours given as the PLSS lifetime, but that seemed rather short. The J missions were regularly pushing 8 hours on each PLSS charge, and that didn't count the OPS. Although the OPS would only last 30-60 min when used in the simple scuba-like once-through mode it was designed for, it actually contained quite a bit of oxygen and could conceivably supplement the PLSS tank for quite some time.
The problem then would be the limited supplies of LiOH, H2O and battery power. In some usage scenarios these were more limiting than O2. In principle you can do without LiOH entirely, but only by wasting a lot of O2 because you would then have to dump a lot of it to get rid of the CO2 before it built to dangerous levels. I think the ISS CO2 scrubber uses a material that can be regenerated by exposure to space where it gives off its CO2.
By minimizing your physical activity and turning off the radios you could extend all of those consumables. And in principle you could supplement some or all of them with supplies on the LESS itself.