Life Support Concepts
for Space Travel II

 Raymond M. Wheeler
Biological Sciences Branch
Kennedy Space Center, FL
Plants and Bioregenerative Life Support
Slide 3
Testing with Plants and Algae for Life Support
NASA Testing with Plants for Life Support
Plants and Life Support: Some Background
Early Studies Focused on Algae
and Cyanobacteria (1950s and 1960s)
Observations from Algae Studies:
Slide 9
Bioregenerative Life Support for Space:
Testing with Higher Plants
and the CELSS Program
Considerations for Selecting Crops
Some Crops for Life Support
Some Findings from NASA Testing
® Recirculating Hydroponics with Agronomic Crops:
Lettuce in Recirculating Hydroponics
Essential Elements for Plants and Humans
Porous Tube Watering
System for Plants in
Some Findings from NASA Testing
 ® High Yields from High Light and CO2 Enrichment :
Effect of Light on Crop Yield
(Data from NASA Biomass Production Chamber)
Effect of Light on Photosynthesis
Slide 21
Some Findings from NASA Testing
 ® Closed System Studies:
Slide 23
CO2 Effects on Photosynthesis
Plant Effects on CO2 and O2 Levels in a Closed System
Some Findings from NASA Testing
 ® Whole Canopy Gas Exchange:
Some Findings from NASA Testing
 ® Cultivar Selection and Development :
Continuing Challenges:
The Special Challenge of Providing
Light for Plants
Electric Lamp Considerations
High-Intensity Discharge Lamps for Plant Lighting
Plant Requirements for Blue Light
Slide 33
Waste Recycling with
Biological Systems
Plants for Water Purification
Sodium Recycling in Closed Systems
Biological Waste Processing Systems
Waste Recycling / Aquaculture
Constraints for Life Support in Space:
(“Economics” of Life Support)