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The minimal cost of life in spaceThe cost of keeping people alive in space is assessed from a theoretical viewpoint and using two actual designs for plant growth systems. While life support is theoretically not very demanding, our ability to implement life support is well below theoretical limits. A theoretical limit has been calculated from requirements and the state of the art for plant growth has been calculated using data from the BIO-Plex PDR and from the Cornell CEA prototype system. The very low efficiency of our current approaches results in a high mission impact, though we can still see how to get a significant reduction in cost of food when compared to supplying it from Earth. Seeing the distribution of costs should allow us to improve our current designs. c2004 COSPAR. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Document ID
Acquisition Source
Kennedy Space Center
Document Type
Reprint (Version printed in journal)
Drysdale, A. E.
(Boeing, KSC, FL 32815, United States)
Rutkze, C. J.
Albright, L. D.
LaDue, R. L.
Date Acquired
August 23, 2013
Publication Date
January 1, 2004
Publication Information
Publication: Advances in space research : the official journal of the Committee on Space Research (COSPAR)
Volume: 34
Issue: 7
Subject Category
Man/System Technology And Life Support
Distribution Limits
NASA Discipline Life Support Systems

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