> It is essential for space settlers to be self-sufficient in food and water. A good model is the "Contained Environment Life Support System" or CELSS presently being developed at NASA-Ames Research Center and other research institutions. The present crop growth chamber at NASA-Ames is about 12 m^2. The energy requirement of the system is about 15 kw of which 13 kw provides the light needed for plant growth with the rest for miscallenous support hardware. The present system provides complete nutritional needs of 1 person (a vegeterian). It takes about two weeks to grow lettuce from seed to harvesting. At present all kinds of food is grown like strawberries, chives, passion fruit, potatoes, various herbs, spinach, tea with various success. The goal is to grow plants which produces at least 50% edible biomass with the rest of the biomass recycled to provide plant nutrients. Its immediate application will be in polar areas to meet the needs of researchers there who obviously could not grow food outdoors. There are many advantages to use similar systems in future orbital space settlements including recycling of human waste and using plants to convert "brown water" (sewer water) into pure, drinking water.

To calculate the needs of crop growth, based on CELSS model, for your space settlement design enter your POPULATION and then press CALCULATE button:

  • NASA Johnson Space Center Advanced Life Support System
  • Designing for human presence in space
  • Gravitational Biology at Kennedy Space Center
  • NASA Ecological Life Support System Simulation Software_for Windows
  • 1997 contest grand prize winning entry
  • The International Space Exploration and Colonization Co
  • Purdue CELSS program
  • Regenerative life support: inputs/outputs
  • Advanced life support
  • Tusk CELSS program
  • Crop Physiology Lab Links
  • related links by Lycos
  • Garden Simulation Software

  • space settlement home page
  • Space Settlement Designer's Corner
    Please note that we are not affiliated with Lab-Scale CELSS Project, and any error(s) or unintentional misrepresentation belong solely to the author of this page.