Kennedy Space Center Propellants and Life Support Branch

Life Support

Life Support services provides personal protective equipment services to all KSC/CCSFS launch vehicles and their payloads, and other tenant organizations at KSC and CCSFS. The Life Support function includes operation and maintenance of multiple types of life support equipment totaling over thousands of individual items consisting primarily of protective clothing, respirators, and associated support equipment. Responsibilities include replacement, procurement, fabrication, maintenance, management and issuance of these items to Spaceport customers at hundreds of locations across the Spaceport. Life Support services are provided under the KSC Propellants and Life Support Services contract. The primary office is located in the KSC Industrial Area, building M6-0490, at the SW corner of 2nd St and B Ave.

List of tasks done by Life Support:

  • Operate, maintain and refurbish Life Support equipment as assigned
  • Provide and recycle life support equipment used for training
  • Inspect and test hazardous material suits, including those provided by others
  • Provide engineering support and maintain Life Support documentation

Equipment – Operate, maintain and refurbish life support equipment as assigned. Assigned equipment includes the following:

  • Propellant handlers ensemble, Self Contained Atmospheric Protective Ensemble (SCAPE) come in two varieties; Propellant Handlers Ensemble (PHE: CAT I and CAT IV modes). Breathing air is provided by either a ECU backpack (CAT I) or airline (CAT IV) from an external source; such as a facility breathing air panel, which is in turn supplied by either fixed pressure vessels, Mobile Storage Units (MSUs) or Compress Gas Trailers (CGTs) located outside the facility. A person wearing a SCAPE communicates with others via either a wired intercom or radio. When wearing an ECU and radio, the person has complete freedom of mobility. A PHE suit weighs 26 lbs, and with the boots and gloves it’s no more then 30 lbs. The ECU weighs about 40 lbs full of liquid air. PHE-CAT I mode weighs 70 lbs when fully assembled.
  • Environmental Control unit (ECU) backpacks worn inside the PHE-SCAPE suit (known as Cat I) provides breathing air. An ECU weighs approximately 40 pounds when fully loaded with two liters of liquid air, which will provide up to two hours of air to the wearer.
  • Self-Contained Breathing Apparatus (SCBA)
  • Airlines
  • Escape-Only Respirator (EOR) 10-minute breathing escape units.
  • Medical Resuscitators: portable resuscitators, ambulance resuscitators, auto vents, and facility resuscitators.
  • Supplied Air Respirator (SAR) with and without escape units.

Facility Life Support Fill and Test Equipment:

  • Emergency Breathing Equipment (EBE) automated fill station
  • SCBA test stands
  • Biosystems PosiChek tester
  • ECU fill station
  • ECU test stand
  • ECU purge panel
  • 425 liter Zero-Loss Dewar
  • Oxygen Fill Station
  • Resuscitator test console
  • SCAPE Dryer
  • SCAPE Soap and Water shower
  • Sewing Repair Station
  • SCAPE Suit Pressure Test Panels
  • Protective Clothing Repair Facility
  • Respirator Washer
  • Respirator Dryer

Mobile Equipment:

  • Air Supply Carts
  • Portable Air Regulation Panels
  • Portable Pressure Reducing Panels
  • Dual Output Regulation Panels
  • SCAPE Transporter Vans
  • SCAPE Support Trailer
  • Liquid Air Carts