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Sierra Nevada Corp. to Demonstrate Space Trash Management System for ISS

Waste management

Sierra Nevada Corp. to Demonstrate Space Trash Management System for ISS

Aerospace engineering company Sierra Nevada Corp. has secured a potential five-year, $13.78 million contract to demonstrate a trash compaction and processing system for the International Space Station.

SNC will show how its microgravity-compatible solution can perform trash processing, heat transfer, fluid flow, liquid and vapor condensation, and phase separation. The company must also implement a detailed concept of operations, waste handling and interaction with the TCPS aboard the ISS.

The contract is indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity in nature and comes with firm-fixed-price task orders. Work will be carried out through Aug. 31, 2027, if all options are exercised.

Work will be performed in Madison, Wisconsin, NASA said.

In July, NASA tested waste disposal technology from Texas-based company Nanoracks for the ISS. The Nanoracks solution uses a waste container that can carry around 270 kilograms of garbage before the container is released towards the Earth’s atmosphere, where it would burn up.

The concept behind using the Earth’s atmosphere to incinerate ISS waste is that it is more efficient and more sustainable than having to send cargo spacecraft to the station to dispose of waste.

In 2018, NASA tested a prototype of the Heat Melt Compactor, designed to compress astronauts’ trash into small square tiles. During the tests, the materials were sterilized and the by-products were either used for other functions or were released into space safely.

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Category: Space

Tags: contract award Heat Melt Compactor International Space Station Nanoracks NASA Sierra Nevada Corp. space Trash Compaction and Processing System

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