'Algae bioreactor' sent to the ISS to generate food and oxygen

The German Aerospace Center built a bioreactor that runs on algae and may one day support astronauts during long term space missions.

    2019/05/09

NSFW    INTERNATIONAL SPACE STATION — A bioreactor that runs on algae has been sent to the International Space Station to convert carbon dioxide into oxygen and to generate food, according to a press release by the German Aerospace Center.

The Photobioreactor contains an algae species called Chlorella vulgaris[i][j], which uses photosynthesis to produce oxygen.

The press release says the freshwater algae could create an edible biomass that would be high in protein content. It could one day replace around 30 percent of an astronaut's current meals.

The reactor also create fresh air for the space station for around six months and will be supported by the Advanced Closed-Loop System, or ACLS.

Thebioreactor could one day help support astronauts on long missions in base stations on the Moon or on planets such as Mars, according to the German Aerospace Center.

It would make it possible for less food and equipment to be carried onto future space missions.
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