1991-07-01

Regenerative Life Support Systems (RLSS) Test Bed Performance: Characterization of Plant Performance in a Controlled Atmosphere 911426

Future manned habitats such as a Lunar or Martian outpost will require a high degree of self-sufficiency to minimize cost and dependency on resupply from Earth. Food and other life support expendables are major resupply items required for long-term habitation of planetary surfaces. By growing higher plants for food, resupply can be reduced and self-sufficiency increased. Additionally, higher plants provide carbon dioxide (CO2) removal and reduction, oxygen (O2) production, and water reclamation for human life support.
Plants have been grown in the controlled environment of the Regenerative Life Support Systems (RLSS) Test Bed at Johnson Space Center. The systems performance in terms of supporting human life was determined for plant CO2 assimilation, O2 generation, and evapotranspiration rates, trace contaminant generation, and biomass production. In addition, test conditions and anomalies are described.

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