Biological Life Support within ESA Past and Future developments. 2000-01-2338
For the last 10 years, ESA has initiated Life Support activities to prepare long-term manned missions. Although a large part of these activities were based on physico-chemical technologies, biological processes were considered as well. A few projects were initiated: air contaminants removal (e.g. BAF) up to the complete and complex approach of artificial ecosystems (e.g. MELISSA). In order to make a complete survey of the existing developments, to evaluate their advantages and weaknesses, to identify the needs of future projects, as well as to understand the interest of industry, an Advanced Life Support Workshop has been organised in April 1999 by ESA. This paper reviews the existing developments and presents the recommendations of the workshop. A specific part is devoted to the projects in collaboration with the ESA Life Sciences community and the results of the 1999 announcement of opportunity, which included Biological life Support.