Here, we investigate the age-old question; can life be sustained in space?
While Hollywood movies, such as ‘The Martian’, use an excessive display of drama and computer graphics to highlight our ability to survive in a hostile environment – is it that far off from reality?
As leaders in refuge chamber technology, MineARC Systems have extended this knowledge to develop state-of-the-art monitoring and control technologies; GuardIAN and Biora. With the aid of Controlled (Closed) Ecological Life Support Systems (CELSS), these developments form the basis for providing significant refuge periods.
The future of safe refuge and designing systems to support human and plant life indefinitely requires some key considerations.
Controlled Ecological Life Support Systems (CELSS)
Controlled (Closed) Ecological Life Support Systems (CELSS) are highly involved, bioengineered systems that rely on plant growth to provide the principal elements of life-support; from food production and gas conversion to water reclamation.
During the 1960s, the Soviet Union pioneered CELSS during experiments for a regenerative life support system for space colonies. Even now, 50 years later, colony proposals for Mars and the Moon would undoubtedly require very long-duration space station refuge volumes.
The general principle of CELSS is that plant growth chambers provide oxygen, food and fuel requirements for extended periods of refuge. Further to this, the plants would work to consume carbon dioxide and bodily wastes from the occupied areas of the refuge/living chamber and provide humidity control through the condensation of an air conditioner feeding water into the plant area.
The Future of Safe Refuge: Plant Growth and Environment Control
MineARC Systems have been developing controlled environments for various plant growth scenarios; ranging in LED lighting design with a focus on capturing and manipulating as much of the usable light spectrum as possible, to the manipulation of gases and temperature within a chamber to maintain optimal growth and sustainability.
Similarly, trials of hydroponic and aeroponic techniques, in conjunction with the development of control software and measurement instruments, best suit growth control.
Key Areas of Plant Growth Environmental Control
A plant growth chamber, such as Biora, will require key elements to be controlled within its volume, despite any growing techniques employed through hydroponics. These include:
Moving into the future, MineARC Systems – a specialist in refuge chamber technology – will be investigating the limitless possibilities refuge chamber technology. We are committed to the continual development and exploration of current technologies to enhance humanity, to the infinity and beyond.