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December 16, 1997
Linda Matthews-Schmidt
Johnson Space Center
(281) 483-5111

Release: J97-42

91 Day Lunar-Mars Life Support Test Project to End Friday

Members of the news media are invited on Friday, December 19 at 9 a.m. CST to attend the completion of the most recent phase of testing of regenerative life support systems as a crew of four volunteers emerge from an air-tight chamber environment after 91 days in a special chamber. The test is the third in a series of experiments at the Johnson Space Center in preparation for possible human expeditions away from Earth orbit.

Phase III of the Lunar-Mars Life Support Test Project began on Sept. 19, 1997. This phase used a combination of physical, mechanical, chemical and biological methods to recycle all the air and water used by the crew and to use plants grown in a connecting chamber to provide some of their food. Regenerative life support is a critical enabling technology for future space missions, since astronauts cannot carry all the supplies necessary to support a trip to Mars or an extended stay on a base on the Moon.

The test crew members for Phase III are Crew Commander Dr. Nigel Packham, 36, a Lockheed-Martin Life Support System Scientist; Vickie Kloeris, 41, a NASA Shuttle Food System Manager; John Lewis, 30, a Lockheed-Martin Life Support System Engineer; and Laura Supra, 28, Allied Signal Life Support System Engineer.

The latest information about the chamber test can be found at the following web site at URL:

Media should arrive at the JSC newsroom in Bldg. 2 at the Johnson Space Center by 8:15 a.m. CST Friday to be escorted to Bldg. 7 for the crew's departure from the chamber shortly after 9 a.m. Tapes of an October 8, 1997 press conference regarding the test, which include comments from Advanced Life Support program management and the crew as well as a video tour of the chamber quarters are available upon request. The crew egress from the chamber will appear on NASA-TV's Video File at 11:00 a.m. CST Friday and on subsequent replays at 2:00 and 5:00 p.m. Please contact the JSC newsroom at 281-483-5111 if you plan to participate.


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