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Bioregenerative Life Support Systems Test Complex (Bio-Plex) Food Processing System: A Dual SystemA Bioregenerative Life Support Test Complex, BIO-Plex, is currently being constructed at the Johnson Space Center (JSC) in Houston, TX. This facility will attempt to answer the questions involved in developing a lunar or planetary base. The Food Processing System (FPS) of the BIO-Plex is responsible for supplying food to the crew in coordination with the chosen mission scenario. Long duration space missions require development of both a Transit Food System and of a Lunar or Planetary Food System. These two systems are intrinsically different since the first one will be utilized in the transit vehicle in microgravity conditions with mostly resupplied foods, while the second will be used in conditions of partial gravity (hypogravity) to process foods from crops grown in the facility. The Transit Food System will consist of prepackaged food of extended shelf life. It will be supplemented with salad crops that will be consumed fresh. Microgravity imposes significant limitation on the ability to handle food and allows only for minimal processing. The challenge is to develop food systems similar to the International Space Station or Shuttle Food Systems but with a shelf life of 3 - 5 years. The Lunar or Planetary Food System will allow for food processing of crops due to the presence of some gravitational force (1/6 to 1/3 that of Earth). Crops such as wheat, soybean, rice, potato, peanut, and salad crops, will be processed to final products to provide a nutritious and acceptable diet for the crew. Not only are constraints imposed on the FPS from the crops (e.g., crop variation, availability, storage and shelf-life) but also significant requirements are present for the crew meals (e.g., RDA, high quality, safety, variety). The FPS becomes a fulcrum creating the right connection from crops to crew meals while dealing with issues of integration within a closed self-regenerative system (e.g., safe processing, waste production, volumes, air contaminations, water usage, etc.). Options for the first test, for duration of 120 days, currently scheduled for late 2003 are outlined.
Document ID
Acquisition Source
Johnson Space Center
Document Type
Preprint (Draft being sent to journal)
Perchonok, Michele
(NASA Johnson Space Center Houston, TX United States)
Vittadini, Elena
(NASA Johnson Space Center Houston, TX United States)
Peterson, Laurie J.
(NASA Johnson Space Center Houston, TX United States)
Swango, Beverly E.
(NASA Johnson Space Center Houston, TX United States)
Toerne, Mary E.
(NASA Johnson Space Center Houston, TX United States)
Russo, Dane M.
Date Acquired
September 7, 2013
Publication Date
January 1, 2001
Subject Category
Man/System Technology And Life Support
Meeting Information
Meeting: ICES Conference
Location: Orlando, FL
Country: United States
Start Date: July 9, 2001
End Date: July 12, 2001
Sponsors: Society of Automotive Engineers, Inc.
Distribution Limits
Public Use Permitted.
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