Do they make a user's manual for the ISS?
June 28, 2012 12:14 PM Subscribe
Where can I find more detailed technical information about the International Space Station? In particular, how the Environmental Control and Life Support System (ECLSS) and various atmospheric control systems (like the Elektron system) function?
I'm writing a story set during a nearish future long-term mission to Mars on a Nautilus-X
style vehicle, and as far as I can tell the ISS is the closest real world analog to how the life support systems on such a vehicle would function. Unfortunately, while it's easy enough to find broad-strokes descriptions of the ISS's systems and the principles involved, I've had no luck whatsoever finding anything with useful diagrams or photographs that explain the nuts and bolts of how those systems are built, what they look like, what their specific components are called and how they interact.
One of the characters in my story is an engineer who needs to partly rebuild her vehicle's equivalent of the ECLSS, and I'd like to be able to write about that process convincingly with as little hand-waving as possible. Remember the scene in Apollo 13, where they have to jury-rig a way to fit a carbon dioxide filter into an incompatible slot? That's exactly the sort of thing I'm hoping to be able to manage in my own story, only the engineer herself would be one of the main characters.
Are there resources online or in print that I just haven't found yet? If not, are there people who I can contact to request this kind of information? The giant "ISS Reference Guide" PDF on NASA's website is great, but it's just not what I'm looking for.