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

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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[c][d], 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 will also create fresh air for the space station for around six months and will be supported by the Advanced Closed-Loop System, which is currently used to recycle carbon dioxide into oxygen for astronauts in the space station.

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.

RUNDOWN SHOWS:
1. How the Photobioreactor functions
2. The algae species used within the Photobioreactor
3. Edible biomass, astronaut meal and a pie chart
4. The Photobioreactor inside the ISS

"According to a press release by the German Aerospace Center, a Photobioreactor has been sent to the International Space Station to convert carbon dioxide into oxygen and to generate food."

"The Photobioreactor contains an algae species called Chlorella vulgaris[e][f], 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 will also create fresh air for the space station for around six months and will be supported by the Advanced Closed-Loop System, which is currently used to recycle carbon dioxide into oxygen for astronauts in the space station."

SOURCES: Space.com, German Aerospace Center, European Space Agency
https://www.space.com/space-station-algae-experiment-fresh-air.html
https://www.dlr.de/dlr/presse/en/desktopdefault.aspx/tabid-10172/213_read-33413/year-all/#/gallery/34129
https://www.esa.int/Our_Activities/Human_and_Robotic_Exploration/Research/Advanced_Closed_Loop_System