Astronauts algae will use as a food and a source of oxygen
During long-term space missions, the crew members of space ships may have to grow food, because the delivery of the Earth will be impossible. In this case, it will be important to diversify the diet, because eating one potato, as the character of Matt Damon from "The Martian", hardly anyone wants. Researchers from the International Space Station began the experiment, which revealed whether they will be able to grow, eat and receive oxygen from algae. It seems that it is quite possible.
For the growth of algae, they will use the photobioreactor, which was delivered to the station on May 6 in the cargo ship SpaceX Dragon. It is believed that with the help of his astronauts will not only nutritious biomass, which could reach 30% of the diet of the future space missions, but also an additional source of pure oxygen. For this purpose, by the way, are excellent algae Chlorella vulgaris, which will be grown inside the bioreactor.
It is assumed that the device will operate in conjunction with physical-chemical recirculation system and ACLS technology for recycling the carbon dioxide into oxygen. Basically the ISS oxygen produced by the electrolysis of water delivered freight ships - subsequently formed hydrogen is discharged into the space. Due to the oxygen the algae and other education technologies, agencies will be able to deliver 400 liters less water, or use this amount for other purposes. If the experiment is successful and the device proves to be effective, the technology will be widely used in the manned lunar exploration and colonization of Mars. During these missions, delivery of products from the earth will not be possible, and it's not just a great distance, but in a larger volume of cargo. That's why researchers are so actively engaged in the creation of a closed life support systems, where food and water delivery is simply not needed.
It is noteworthy that in the cargo ship SpaceX Dragon were delivered materials to slow the oxidation processes in the cells of astronauts. It is believed that one day they will fall on the basis of drugs that eliminate the effects of a prolonged stay in weightlessness. More information about this can be found in our material.
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