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Integrated Bio-ISRU and Life Support Systems at the Lunar Outpost: Concept and Preliminary ResultsWe continue the development of our concept of a biotechnological loop for in-situ resource extraction along with propellant and food production at a future lunar outpost, based on the cultivation of litholytic cyanobacteria (LCB) with lunar regolith (LR) in a geobioreactor energized by sunlight. Our preliminary studies have shown that phototropic cultivation of LCB with simulants of LR in a low-mineralized medium supplemented with CO2 leads to rock dissolution (bioweathering) with the resulting accumulation of Fe, Mg and Al in cyanobacterial cells and in the medium. LCB cultivated with LR simulants produces more O2 than the same organisms cultivated in a high-mineralized medium. The loss of rock mass after bioweathering with LCB suggests the release of O from regolith. Further studies of chemical pathways of released O are required. The bioweathering process is limited by the availability of CO2, N, and P. Since lunar regolith is mainly composed of O, Si, Ca, Al and Mg, we propose to use organic waste to supply a geobioreactor with C, N and P. The recycling of organic waste, including urine, through a geobioreactor will allow for efficient element extraction as well as oxygen and biomass production. The most critical conclusion is that a biological life support system tied to a geobioreactor might be more efficient for supporting an extraterrestrial outpost than a closed environmental system.
Document ID
20090020678
Document Type
Conference Paper
Authors
Brown, I. I. (NASA Johnson Space Center Houston, TX, United States)
Garrison, D. H. (NASA Johnson Space Center Houston, TX, United States)
Allen, C. C. (NASA Johnson Space Center Houston, TX, United States)
Pickering, K. (NASA Johnson Space Center Houston, TX, United States)
Sarkisova, S. A. (NASA Johnson Space Center Houston, TX, United States)
Galindo, C., Jr. (NASA Johnson Space Center Houston, TX, United States)
Pan, D. (NASA Johnson Space Center Houston, TX, United States)
Foraker, E. (NASA Johnson Space Center Houston, TX, United States)
Mckay, D. S. (NASA Johnson Space Center Houston, TX, United States)
Date Acquired
August 24, 2013
Publication Date
January 1, 2009
Subject Category
Man/System Technology and Life Support
Report/Patent Number
JSC-CN-18306
Meeting Information
Lunar Science Forum 2009(Moffett Field, CA)
Distribution Limits
Public
Copyright
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.