JUL 29, 2018 4:25 PM PDT

Algae in Space: A Potential Food and Fuel Source?

WRITTEN BY: Anthony Bouchard

During SpaceX’s recent CRS-15 launch, a mission to resupply the International Space Station with fresh supplies, the commercial space company’s Falcon 9 rocket brought a critical new science experiment to the Earth-orbiting space lab: algae.

Algae promises a potential high-yield food and fuel source for astronauts in upcoming deep-space missions without the demanding light requirements imposed by other plants. It offers protein, starch, and oil in a relatively small package, and it can also be rather easy to grow in liquid.

Scientists want to know how challenging it is to grow algae in a liquid in a micro-gravity environment, and so the International Space Station offers a unique opportunity to test this idea and learn whether it could become a viable food and fuel option or not.

Engineers behind this experiment faced severe challenges, such as developing a flight-ready growing system that wouldn’t be difficult for astronauts to use right out of the box. The state-of-the-art growing system should provide excellent results and benefit humanity as we seek further exploration of the solar system.

About the Author
Fascinated by scientific discoveries and media, Anthony found his way here at LabRoots, where he would be able to dabble in the two. Anthony is a technology junkie that has vast experience in computer systems and automobile mechanics, as opposite as those sound.
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