1st International Space Ecology Workshop - Research Needs & Roadmap to the Future



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2023 International Conference on Environmental Systems


Self-sufficient life support systems will be crucial for meeting the physical and mental health needs of crew during long-term, deep space exploration missions and for maintaining a permanent human presence in space. Closing the material loop with food production and waste recycling is necessary to reduce reliance on Earth resupply. Closed ecological systems (CES) can utilize a combination of biological, ecological, and physicochemical processes to support human life. A space habitat can be considered an artificial ecosystem in which human beings exchange energy and material with other system components and their extraterrestrial environment. The inaugural International Space Ecology Workshop was held on October 22, 2022, to promote and organize CES research internationally and to reignite interest in the ecological systems approach to space life support. This workshop brought together engineers, space biologists, and ecologists to discuss the past, present, and future of CES that could enable indefinite, sustainable human exploration of space, as well as sustainable living on Earth. Specific workshop goals were to review research needs and knowledge gained to date, connect active professionals in the field, and plan next steps for closing knowledge and technology gaps. This paper summarizes the proceedings and a Space Ecology Roadmap for prioritizing and guiding future action.


Christine Escobar, Space Lab® / Propagule Space Ecology Institute, USA
Patrick Grubbs, The Spring Institute for Forests on the Moon, USA
Stephen Lantin, University of Florida, USA
Jane Shevtsov, University of California(UCLA) / Propagule Space Ecology Institute, USA
Frieda Taub, University of Washington, USA
Sherri Damlo, Independent Scholar, USA
ICES204: Bioregenerative Life Support
The 52nd International Conference on Environmental Systems was held in Calgary, Canada, on 16 July 2023 through 20 July 2023.


space ecology, R&D needs, roadmap, workshop, international, closed ecological systems, bioregenerative life support