Life support is vital to the survival of a ship’s crew and passengers. It consists of systems that regulate an oxygen-rich, CO2-poor atmosphere of the engineering and habitation decks.
The most basic life support system consists only of an airduct connected to oxygen and power sources. During a standard game, this will likely consist of a reactor and an airduct, each connected to loaders and supplied with oxygen and fuel canisters. However, this system’s shortcomings become apparent as the CO2 level rises.
The ship’s population will slowly generate CO2, which will build up in the atmosphere. If the CO2 level becomes too great, the population will begin to suffocate. To keep a healthy atmosphere, the CO2 must be removed by using a CO2 Scrubber, which can be connected to an Air Reprocessor to generate oxygen.
If the CO2 Scrubber says it is “blocked,” this means that the output has nowhere to go. In this case, connecting a tank to the CO2 pipe is good practice.
Refilling Space Suits
Space Suits contain 100 units of oxygen each, allowing crew members access to a breathable atmosphere in the event of a hull breach. Space suits can be refilled by installing a Spacesuit Pod connected to an oxygen line. Crew members will bring the suits, one by one, to the pod to refill the oxygen tanks.
On vessels that carry civilians, it is advisable to create separate atmospheres. Civilians can’t wear space suits, and the atmosphere passes freely through ladders to and from the Habitation Deck. If the area beneath a ladder loses atmosphere, so does the area of Habitation Deck it is connected to. The player can help keep civilians alive in case of hull breaches by separating the ladder area from the rest of the ship’s atmosphere by installing a hull, a door, and an airduct with a proper oxygen supply.
Connecting to Other Systems
When creating a self-sufficient ship, players can look into connecting the output of a functioning sewage processing system to the life support system via an Oxygen Maker. This helps to create oxygen from water but also requires keeping an eye on the oxygen and water levels to ensure they are within reasonable levels. In some cases, the oxygen maker might overproduce oxygen and leave no water for the population to drink, leading to dehydration.