Preprint Communication Version 1 Preserved in Portico This version is not peer-reviewed

Biomanufacturing for Space-Exploration – What to Take and When to Make

Version 1 : Received: 19 July 2022 / Approved: 21 July 2022 / Online: 21 July 2022 (11:01:29 CEST)

How to cite: Averesch, N.J.; Berliner, A.J.; Nangle, S.N.; Zezulka, S.; Vengerova, G.L.; Ho, D.; Casale, C.A.; Lehner, B.A.; Jessica Snyder, J.E.; Clark, K.B.; Dartnell, L.R.; Criddle, C.S.; Arkin, A.P. Biomanufacturing for Space-Exploration – What to Take and When to Make. Preprints 2022, 2022070329 (doi: 10.20944/preprints202207.0329.v1). Averesch, N.J.; Berliner, A.J.; Nangle, S.N.; Zezulka, S.; Vengerova, G.L.; Ho, D.; Casale, C.A.; Lehner, B.A.; Jessica Snyder, J.E.; Clark, K.B.; Dartnell, L.R.; Criddle, C.S.; Arkin, A.P. Biomanufacturing for Space-Exploration – What to Take and When to Make. Preprints 2022, 2022070329 (doi: 10.20944/preprints202207.0329.v1).

Abstract

As renewed interest in human space-exploration intensifies, a coherent and modernized strategy for mission-design and planning has become increasingly crucial. Biotechnology has emerged as a promising approach to increase mission resilience, flexibility, and efficiency by virtue of its ability to efficiently utilize in situ resources and reclaim resources from waste streams. Since its infancy during the Apollo years, biotechnology, and specifically biomanufacturing, have witnessed significant expansions of scope and scale. Here we outline four primary mission classes, on Luna and Mars, that drive a staged and accretive biomanufacturing strategy. Each class requires a unique approach to integrate biomanufacturing into the existing mission architecture and so faces unique challenges in technology development.These challenges stem directly from the resources available in a given mission class – the degree to which feedstocks are derived from cargo and in situ resources – and the degree to which loop-closure is necessary. We see that as mission duration and distance from Earth increase, the benefits of specialized sustainable biomanufacturing processes increases. Here we present a strategic approach, guided by technoeconomics, to development, testing, and deployment of these technologies serves to nucleate the larger effort of supporting a sustained human presence in space. The processes needed for each scenario spans the technical breadth of synthetic biology to design engineering, from sophisticated genetic tailoring of chassis-organisms to building scalable, automated, easily operable bioreactors and processing systems. As space-related technology development often does, these advancements are likely to have profound implications for the creation of a stable, resilient bioeconomy on Earth.

Keywords

in-space biomanufacturing; space synthetic biology; space bioprocess engineering; biological life-support systems; in situ resource utilization; circular economy

Subject

ENGINEERING, Biomedical & Chemical Engineering

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