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From Antarctic prototype to ground test demonstrator for a lunar greenhouse

Maiwald, Volker and Kyunghwan, Kim and Vrakking, Vincent and Zeidler, Conrad (2023) From Antarctic prototype to ground test demonstrator for a lunar greenhouse. Acta Astronautica, 212, pp. 246-260. Elsevier. doi: 10.1016/j.actaastro.2023.08.012. ISSN 0094-5765.

[img] PDF - Only accessible within DLR bis 1 December 2025 - Preprint version (submitted draft)

Official URL: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0094576523004101?via%3Dihub


The Moon has returned into the focus of human endeavors regarding human spaceflight, e.g., with NASA's Artemis program, ESA's Moon Village, and the Russian/Chinese International Lunar Research Station. In difference to the pathfinding missions of the Apollo-era, the goal for these future missions is to stay on the lunar surface for longer durations and inhabit the lunar environment (near-)permanently. This requires a different approach to be affordable, i.e., instead of resupply as mostly used on e.g., the International Space Station, resource management has to include recycling and in-situ utilization. The former especially calls for the application of so-called BLSS to allow providing essential life-support services to the crew without prohibitive resource consumption, which is economically not feasible to achieve with resupplies. Bio-regenerative-life-support systems have been researched for decades, yet the system complexity, technology advancements, and singular aspects as e.g., plant biology require more research, especially if combined as in a greenhouse. For instance, the understanding of how a microbiome develops in a closed environment and what implications the microbiome has on plant growth is still insufficient. Within the EDEN project, the German Aerospace Center built a lunar analogue greenhouse and operated it at the Neumayer-III research station in Antarctica for four years, testing the technology – which was not space hardware – and operations. Derived from this experience the next step in the project is to design and subsequently operate a ground test demonstrator for a lunar greenhouse, as close as possible to the actual space hardware and operations. This paper explains the current design and trade-offs that led to it. Furthermore, the concept of operations is shown to illustrate the demonstrator's utility for researching bioregenerative-life-support. Overall, the system presented is feasible and useful to close the gaps, currently still existing in this field of research, and thus a mission enabler for future long-duration human space exploration missions.

Item URL in elib:https://elib.dlr.de/196682/
Document Type:Article
Title:From Antarctic prototype to ground test demonstrator for a lunar greenhouse
AuthorsInstitution or Email of AuthorsAuthor's ORCID iDORCID Put Code
Maiwald, VolkerUNSPECIFIEDhttps://orcid.org/0000-0002-4591-0089UNSPECIFIED
Vrakking, VincentUNSPECIFIEDhttps://orcid.org/0000-0001-8633-2847UNSPECIFIED
Zeidler, ConradUNSPECIFIEDhttps://orcid.org/0000-0001-6049-1321UNSPECIFIED
Date:November 2023
Journal or Publication Title:Acta Astronautica
Refereed publication:Yes
Open Access:No
Gold Open Access:No
In ISI Web of Science:Yes
Page Range:pp. 246-260
Keywords:greenhouse, EDEN, lunar mission, human spaceflight, habitat
HGF - Research field:Aeronautics, Space and Transport
HGF - Program:Space
HGF - Program Themes:Space System Technology
DLR - Research area:Raumfahrt
DLR - Program:R SY - Space System Technology
DLR - Research theme (Project):R - Project EDEN ISS follow-on [SY]
Location: Bremen
Institutes and Institutions:Institute of Space Systems > System Analysis Space Segment
Deposited By: Maiwald, Volker
Deposited On:30 Aug 2023 11:55
Last Modified:30 Aug 2023 11:55

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