PFPU � Microgravity Precursor Food Production Unit nutrient delivery system development status



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50th International Conference on Environmental Systems


So far, several technical issues related to the development, implementation and operations of food production system for space applications were identified and include the food quality prediction, food safety, microbial population management, humidity management, nutrient delivery management, integration strategy. Thus, considering the number of issues and their respective criticality, the cost-conscious development of a food complement production unit for space application requires a step-by step approach based on a modular technological demonstrator. PFPU is a study of a modular food complement production unit demonstrator, aiming at a statistically representative production of edible tuberous plants in micro-gravity. The study is performed within the MELiSSA framework under contract with the European Space Agency, carried on by an Italian consortium led by Thales Alenia Space Italia. The PFPU key subsystems have been designed, built and are being tested. Among these key subsystems, the nutrient delivery system collected most of the study effort. The activities included development of new custom components as well as functional performance testing of Commercial Of the Shelf (COTS) equipment. This paper describes the nutrient delivery system as built and summarizes the key findings of the COTS test campaign.


Giorgio Boscheri, Thales Alenia Space Italia
Giovanni Marchitelli, Thales Alenia Space Italia
Christel Paille, European Space Agency
ICES204: Bioregenerative Life Support
The 50th International Conference on Environmental Systems was held virtually on 12 July 2021 through 14 July 2021.


Life support, BLSS, Bioregenerative life support, Higher plants, MELiSSA, Food Production