May 12, 2019

Microalgae Could Be Key to an Efficient Space Life Support System

Posted by in categories: food, space

Making sure astronauts on space missions have sufficient supplies is a major challenge. Not only does food need to be sent up to locations like the International Space Station (ISS) in expensive resupply launches, but a further problem is making sure that astronauts have enough water and oxygen for their needs as well.

It’s also hard to ensure that the astronauts are getting sufficient nutrition from their diet. Ideally the astronauts would be able to grow their own food on the space station, but plants react strangely to microgravity so it’s hard to grow fruits and vegetables successfully.

The current life support systems used in space use chemical reactions to create water and oxygen and to recycle carbon dioxide. But a new system could use algae to produce oxygen, water, and even food.

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