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Uiler R. Agriculture for Space: People and Countries Paving the Way

Published in journal "Space Research", 2017-3 in rubric "Life Sciences in Space", pages 173-207.

Resume: Agricultural systems for space have been discussed since the works of Tsiolkovsky in the early 20th century. Central to the concept is the use of photosynthetic organisms and light to generate oxygen and food. Research in the area started in 1950s and 60s through the works of Jack Myers and others, who studied algae for O2 production and CO2 removal for the US Air Force and NASA. Studies on algal production and controlled environment agriculture were also carried out by Russian researchers in Krasnoyarsk, beginning in 1960s. NASA initiated its CELSS Program ca. 1980 with testing focused on controlled environment production of some plants. Related tests with humans and crops were conducted at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in the 1990s. The European Space Agency MELiSSA Project began in the late 1980s and pursued ecological approaches for providing gas, water and materials recycling for space life support, and later expanded to include plant testing.As a result of these and other (Japan, Canada, China) studies for space agriculture novel technologies and findings have been produced. The theme of agriculture for space has contributed to, and benefited from terrestrial, controlled environment agriculture and will continue doing so into the future.

Keywords: Waste recycling, Algal production, Controlled Environment Agriculture, Photosynthesis, Advanced Life-Support, Vertical Farming, Bioregenerative, Space crops, Agriculture for Space, Space

DOI: 10.7256/.2017.3.24840

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