Browse Publications Technical Papers 2000-01-2397

Matching Crew Diet and Crop Food Production in BIO-Plex 2000-01-2397

This paper matches the BIO-Plex crop food production to the crew diet requirements. The expected average calorie requirement for BIO-Plex is 2,975 Calories per crewmember per day, for a randomly selected crew with a typical level of physical activity. The range of 2,550 to 3,400 Calories will cover about two-thirds of all crews. The exact calorie requirement will depend on the gender composition, individual weights, exercise, and work effort of the selected crew.
The expected average crewmember calorie requirement can be met by 430 grams of carbohydrate, 100 grams of fat, and 90 grams of protein per crewmember per day, for a total of 620 grams. Some fat can replaced by carbohydrate. Each crewmember requires only 2 grams of vitamins and minerals per day. Only unusually restricted diets may lack essential nutrients.
The Advanced Life Support (ALS) consensus is that BIO-Plex should grow wheat, potato, and soybean, and maybe sweet potato or peanut, and maybe lettuce and tomato. The BIO-Plex Biomass Production System food production and the external food supply must be matched to the crew diet requirement for calories and nutritional balance. The crop production and external supply specifications can each be varied as long as their sum matches the required diet specification. We have wide flexibility in choosing the crops and resupply.
We can easily grow one-half the crew calories in one BIO-Plex Biomass Production Chamber (BPC) if we grow only the most productive crops (wheat, potato, and sweet potato) and if we achieve nominal crop productivity. If we assume higher productivity we can grow a wider variety of crops. If we grow one-half of the crew calories, externally supplied foods can easily provide the other half of the calories and balance the diet. We can not grow 95 percent of the crew calories in two BPCs at nominal productivity while growing a balanced diet. We produce maximum calories by growing wheat, potato, and peanut.


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