A Rapid, Low-Cost Approach to Permanently Extend Life Beyond EarthThis presentation covers the value proposition and challenges of permanently extending life beyond Earth. It proposes that this can be most expeditiously accomplished by starting with a population of small Closed Ecological Systems (CES)s, each with several specie populations that enable each CES to persist indefinitely without the need to add resources, remove wastes, or require human intervention. Each CES is instrumented and controlled so that it can be remotely maintained, experiments performed, and data collected. Data from the entire population of CESs are managed in a cloud server database for analyses on how to improve the performance of each CES as well as formulate new CESs. The presentation discusses a modular, artificial-spacecraft prototype that could be used to fly CES modules in space under various gravity and radiation conditions to study changes in the CESs relative to their counterparts that remain on Earth as the control group. The presentation concludes with the next, low-cost steps for rapidly executing the approach described.
Dorais, Gregory A. (NASA Ames Research Center Moffett Field, CA, United States)