Rationale for evaluating a closed food chain for space habitatsClosed food cycles for long duration space flight and space habitation are examined. Wash water for a crew of six is economically recyclable after a week, while a total closed loop water system is effective only if the stay exceeds six months' length. The stoichiometry of net plant growth is calculated and it is shown that the return of urine, feces, and inedible plant parts to the food chain, along with the addition of photosynthesis, closes the food chain loop. Scenarios are presented to explore the technical feasibility of achieving a closed loop system. An optimal choice of plants is followed by processing, waste conversion, equipment specifications, and control requirements, and finally, cost-effectiveness.
Other - Collected Works
Modell, M. (MIT Cambridge, MA, United States)
Spurlock, J. M. (Georgia Institute of Technology Atlanta, GA, United States)