Vegetarians/vegans in space

Life Support Biosph Sci 1996 Winter;2(3-4):169-79
Choosing plants to be grown in a Controlled Environment Life Support System (CELSS) based upon attractive vegetarian diets.
Salisbury FB, Clark MA. Plants, Soils, and Biometeorology Department, Utah State University, Logan 84322-4820, USA.

  Space explorers on the Moon, Mars, or even in a space craft might grow plants in a CELSS to remove CO2 and provide O2 and food. Selection of crops to be studied has been rather arbitrary but should be based on plants that can provide a balanced and attractive, mostly vegetarian diet. Additional selection criteria include ease of growth in artificial environments and sufficient variety provided over long intervals. This article is based on a workshop convened to study vegetarian diets for use in a CELSS. Participants included nutritional scientists, practicing vegetarians, and interested employees of the Johnson Space Center. It was concluded that diets meeting the criteria could be formulated, and a list of suitable crops was compiled.

PMID: 11538565

Adv Space Res 1996;18(4-5):23-31
Earth benefits of interdisciplinary CELSS-related research by the NSCORT in Bioregenerative Life Support.
Mitchell C, Sherman L, Nielsen S, Nelson P, Trumbo P, Hodges T, Hasegawa P, Bressan R, Ladisch M, Auslander D. NASA Specialized Center of Research and Training in Bioregenerative Life Support, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN 47907-1165, USA.

  Earth benefits of research from the NSCORT in Bioregenerative Life Support will include the following: development of active control mechanisms for light, CO2, and temperature to maximize photosynthesis of crop plants during important phases of crop development; automation of crop culture systems; creation of novel culture systems for optimum productivity; creation of value-added crops with superior nutritional, yield, and waste-process characteristics; environmental control of food and toxicant composition of crops; new process technologies and novel food products for safe, nutritious, palatable vegetarian diets; creation of menus for healthful vegetarian diets with psychological acceptability; enzymatic procedures to degrade recalcitrant crop residues occurring in municipal waste; control-system strategies to ensure sustainabilty of a CELSS that will enable management of diverse complex systems on Earth.

PMID: 11538802

Adv Space Res 1996;18(4-5):33-9
Suggestions for crops grown in controlled ecological life-support systems, based on attractive vegetarian diets.
Salisbury FB, Clark MA. Plants, Soils and Biometeorology Department, Utah State University, Logan, UT 84322-4820, USA.

  Assuming that crops grown in controlled ecological life-support systems (CELSS) should provide a basis for meals that are both nutritious and attractive (to taste and vision), and that CELSS diets on the moon or Mars or in space-craft during long voyages will have to be mostly vegetarian, a workshop was convened at the Johnson Space Center, Houston, Texas, U.S.A. on 19 to 21 January, 1994. Participants consisted of trained nutritionists and others; many of the approximately 18 presenters who discussed possible diets were practicing vegetarians, some for more than two decades. Considering all the presentations, seven conclusions (or points for discussion) could be formulated: nutritious vegetarian diets are relatively easily to formulate, vegetarian diets are healthy, variety is essential in vegetarian diets, some experiences (e.g., Bios-3 and Biosphere 2) are relevant to planning of CELSS diets, physical constraints will limit the choice of crops, a preliminary list of recommended crops can be formulated, and this line of research has some potential practical spinoffs. The list of crops and the reasons for including specific crops might be of interest to professionals in the field of health and nutrition as well as to those who are designing closed ecological systems.

PMID: 11538812

Acta Astronaut 1996 Oct;39(8):617-22
Perspectives of different type biological life support systems (BLSS) usage in space missions.
Bartsev SI, Gitelson JI, Lisovsky GM, Mezhevikin VV, Okhonin VA. Biophysics Institute of SB RAS, Krasnoyarsk, Russia.

  In the paper an attempt is made to combine three important criteria of LSS comparison: minimum mass, maximum safety and maximum quality of life. Well-known types of BLSS were considered: with higher plant, higher plants and mushrooms, microalgae, and hydrogen-oxidizing bacteria. These BLSSs were compared in terms of "integrated" mass for the case of a vegetarian diet and a "normal" one (with animal proteins and fats). It was shown that the BLSS with higher plants and incineration of wastes becomes the best when the exploitation period is more than 1 yr. The dependence of higher plants' LSS structure on operation time was found. Comparison of BLSSs in terms of integral reliability (this criterion includes mass and quality of life criteria) for a lunar base scenario showed that BLSSs with higher plants are advantageous in reliability and comfort. This comparison was made for achieved level of technology of closing and for perspective one. PMID: 11540782

Life Support Biosph Sci 1998;5(2):231-42
Design and implementation of a vegetarian food system for a closed chamber test.
Kloeris V, Vodovotz Y, Bye L, Stiller CQ, Lane E. NASA-Johnson Space Center, Houston, TX 77058, USA.

  The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is conducting a series of closed chamber environmental tests, called the Lunar Mars Life Support Test Project (LMLSTP), which is designed to provide data for the development of surface habitats for the Moon and Mars. These surface habitats will be closed loop environmental systems that will recycle air and water and will grow crops to provide food for crew members. In conjunction with these tests, the Food Systems Engineering Facility at the Johnson Space Center (JSC) tested a 10-day vegetarian menu based on items that can be made from the projected crop list for these habitats. The planned menu met most of the nutritional requirements of the four crew members and was found highly acceptable. Automation of the food preparation and processing equipment was strongly recommended because the preparation time was judged excessive. The waste generated was largely due to leftovers.

PMID: 1154168



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