A Bike-Powered Washing Machine for Use on the International Space Station

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A Bike-Powered Washing Machine for Use on the International Space Station

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Title: A Bike-Powered Washing Machine for Use on the International Space Station
Author: McCarthy, Meghan
Citation: McCarthy, Meghan. 2015. A Bike-Powered Washing Machine for Use on the International Space Station. Bachelor's thesis, Harvard College.
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Abstract: As it stands, there are currently no means to wash clothing aboard the International Space Station (ISS). Astronauts are forced to re-wear their soiled clothes, despite having to exercise over two hours per day. Instead of cleaning their clothing using a formal laundry machine, astronauts simply discard fouled articles after extensive use. This method of wear-and-tear has worked thus far, as the ISS has remained in an orbit reachable by resupply capsules. However, with agencies aiming to travel farther and longer than ever before, this practice seems both wasteful and costly. To address this problem, a terrestrial pedal-powered washing machine has been developed to provide proof-of-concept data for a microgravity iteration. The machine consists of a horizontal drum unit linked to the drivetrain of a bicycle, which has been modified to replicate the ISS CEVIS exercise bike. Using computer simulations, the concept of an axial-running agitator to induce mechanical agitation in space was explored and verified. This project served as the first step towards making clean clothes a reality for astronauts.
Terms of Use: This article is made available under the terms and conditions applicable to Other Posted Material, as set forth at http://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:HUL.InstRepos:dash.current.terms-of-use#LAA
Citable link to this page: http://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:HUL.InstRepos:17417590
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