Working Paper Review Version 1 This version is not peer-reviewed

Opening Closed Loop Ecological Life Support Systems with In-Situ Resources on the Moon

Version 1 : Received: 25 June 2021 / Approved: 28 June 2021 / Online: 28 June 2021 (15:23:39 CEST)

A peer-reviewed article of this Preprint also exists.

Ellery, A. Supplementing Closed Ecological Life Support Systems with In-Situ Resources on the Moon. Life 2021, 11, 770. Ellery, A. Supplementing Closed Ecological Life Support Systems with In-Situ Resources on the Moon. Life 2021, 11, 770.

Journal reference: Life 2021, 11, 770
DOI: 10.3390/life11080770

Abstract

In this review, we explore a broad-based view of technologies for supporting human activities on the Moon. Primarily, we assess the state of life support systems technology beginning with physicochemical processes, waste processing, bioregenerative methods, food production systems and the robotics and advanced biological technologies that support the latter. We observe that the Moon possesses in-situ resources but that these resources are of limited value in CELSS – indeed, CELSS technology is most mature in recycling water and oxygen, the two resources that are abundant on the Moon. This places a premium on developing CELSS that recycles other elements that are rarified on the Moon including C and N in particular but also other elements such as P, S and K which might be challenging to extract from local resources. Although we focus on closed loop ecological life support systems, we also consider related technologies that involve the application of biological organisms to bioregenerative medical technologies and bioregenerative approaches to industrial activity on the Moon as potential future developments.

Subject Areas

Bioregenerative life support; closed ecological life support; in-situ resource utilization; lunar industrial ecology; 3D bioprinting; gene editing

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