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Bioregenerative life-support systemsLong-duration future habitation of space involving great distances from Earth and/or large crew sizes (eg, lunar outpost, Mars base) will require a controlled ecological life-support system (CELSS) to simultaneously revitalize atmosphere (liberate oxygen and fix carbon dioxide), purify water (via transpiration), and generate human food (for a vegetarian diet). Photosynthetic higher plants and algae will provide the essential functions of biomass productivity in a CELSS, and a combination of physicochemical and bioregenerative processes will be used to regenerate renewable resources from waste materials. Crop selection criteria for a CELSS include nutritional use characteristics as well as horticultural characteristics. Cereals, legumes, and oilseed crops are used to provide the major macronutrients for the CELSS diet. A National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Specialized Center of Research and Training (NSCORT) was established at Purdue University to establish proof of the concept of the sustainability of a CELSS. The Biosphere 2 project in Arizona is providing a model for predicted and unpredicted situations that arise as a result of closure in a complex natural ecosystem.
Document ID
Document Type
Reprint (Version printed in journal)
Mitchell, C. A. (NASA Headquarters Washington, DC United States)
Date Acquired
August 22, 2013
Publication Date
November 1, 1994
Publication Information
Publication: The American journal of clinical nutrition
Volume: 60
Issue: 5
ISSN: 0002-9165
Subject Category
Man/System Technology and Life Support
Distribution Limits
NASA Discipline Life Support Systems
Non-NASA Center