Equivalent System Mass (ESM) Estimates for Commercially Available, Small-Scale Food Processing Equipment
One of the challenges NASA faces today is developing an Advanced Life Support (ALS) system that will enable long duration space missions beyond low earth orbit (LEO). This ALS system must include a food processing subsystem capable of producing a variety of nutritious, acceptable, and safe edible ingredients and food products from pre-packaged and re-supply foods as well as salad crops grown on the transit vehicle or other crops grown on planetary surfaces. However, designing, building, developing, and maintaining such a subsystem is bound to many constraints and restrictions. The limited power supply, storage locations, variety of crops, crew time, need to minimize waste, and other ESM parameters influence the selection of processing equipment and techniques.