A human crew of 6 has been sent on mission to Mars
The lowest energy transfer to Mars is a Hohmann transfer orbit, which would involve an approximately 9 month travel time from Earth to Mars, about five hundred days at Mars to wait for the transfer window to Earth, and a travel time of about 9 months to return to Earth.
Shorter Mars mission plans have round-trip flight times of 400 to 450 days, but would require significantly higher energy. A fast Mars mission of 245 days round trip could be possible with on-orbit staging.
On ISS the crew wears clean underwear every day and exchanges dirty for clean at every supply mission, storing the dirty until that moment. This approach sounds problematic on a mission to Mars. 245 days worth of clothing for a crew of 6 looks quite a lot.
What is a space-viable method to clean and reuse space laundry?
- assume current tech level, no handwavium
- assume a fast mission, with few days of permanence on Mars. Conceptually similar to the Apollo missions to the Moon.
- only requirement is for the garment to be hygienic and safe to wear after treatment
- the treatment shall leave the garment wearable and usable for at least the duration of the mission
- the less accessory materials needed, the better (i.e. for running a washing machine I would count water, soap and water filtering/cleaning equipment, plus power supply)