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Technical Paper

Optimization of Food Processing for a Lunar Base

Food processing will have a significant effect on both system performance and crew habitability on long-duration human space missions. To maximize habitability, the food processing system must be able to utilize available food items for producing a palatable and diverse menu, while minimizing equipment, consumables mass, and manpower requirements. The authors' goal was to minimize the equivalent mass cost (as defined in earlier work) of the food processing system under constraints of nutritional adequacy, variety and hedonic acceptability. In a companion paper, we have developed a concept for organized analysis of food processing at a Lunar or planetary station. In this paper, we propose a way to optimize the cost-effectiveness of this concept for a Lunar base. A four-man ten-year Lunar base was assumed for performing this analysis, based on previous work by Drysdale on regenerative life support systems.
Technical Paper

Concepts for Food Processing for Lunar and Planetary Stations

Most work on food production for long-duration missions has focused either on biomass production or nutritional modeling. Food processing, while not a basic life support technology, has the potential to significantly affect both life support system performance and the crew's quality of life. Food processing includes the following tasks: Separation of edible biomass (food) from inedible biomass Conversion of inedible biomass into foodstuffs (optional) Processing of foodstuffs into convenience ingredients or storable forms Storage management for locally produced foods and foods supplied from Earth Cooking and serving of fresh and stored foods Management of wastes and leftovers Cleaning and maintenance of equipment Questions to be answered in design of a food processing system include: What processing and labor-saving equipment is required, and with what capacity? How must earth-based processing technology be adapted for hypogravity?
Technical Paper

Value of Fermented Foods for Lunar and Planetary Stations

Three significant problems with food supply in bioregenerative lifesupport systems are addressable through use of fermented foods. The quantity of inedible and marginally edible biomass can be reduced; the hedonic quality of the diet can be enhanced; and food storage constraints can be relaxed due to the superior keeping qualities of fermented products. The authors have assessed potentially available materials and fermentation processes used worldwide, to identify promising food fermentations for use in lunar and planetary stations. Conversion of inedible biomass into acceptable food may include hydrolysis of waste biomass to produce sweeteners and acidulants; fermentation of physically fractionated biomass such as leaf protein isolates into acceptable foods; mushroom cultivation on agricultural residues; and conversion of volatile fatty acids produced during waste treatment into edible microbial biomass.
Technical Paper

Mars Base Zero – A Terrestrial Analog

This paper presents background information and describes operating experience with Mars Base Zero, a terrestrial analog of a Mars base situated in Fairbanks, Alaska. Mars Base Zero is the current stage in a progression from a vegetable garden to a fully closed system (Nauvik) that the International Space Exploration and Colonization Company (ISECCo) has undertaken. Mars Base Zero is an 80 m2 greenhouse, with 18m2 of living space attached. The primary goal is to determine the necessary size for Nauvik in order to support one to four people using current ISECCo techniques for growing food crops. In the spring of 2004 Mars Base Zero was planted, and in the fall of 2004, one subject, Ray Collins, was closed in the system for 39 days. The data from this closure indicates that, using ISECCo cropping techniques, Nauvik will need 150 m2 of crop area to support one person. While problems were encountered, the minimum goal of 30 days closure was exceeded.