BioNutrients-2: Improvements to the BioNutrients-1 Nutrient Production System


The BioNutrients (BN) project aims to develop an on-demand biological production system capable of rapid and safe delivery of multiple nutrients in single-use production packs for long-duration missions. The general concept of this system is to develop edible engineered microorganisms that produce nutrients for human consumption following long-term storage, revival, and growth. BN-1 is a five-year flight project currently on the International Space Station (ISS). It is testing the long-term storage of various microorganisms for the biomanufacturing of space-relevant compounds and validating the performance of the first generation of production packs. The BN-2 project expands the BN-1 flight project scope by introducing novel products, broadening the range of microbial food sources, and improving upon production pack hardware. We are optimizing the biomanufacturing platform for in situ production of yogurt and kefir on the ISS. BN-2 also will test engineered microorganisms, including a probiotic strain, to produce carotenoids or follistatin. To improve the feasibility of this technology for mission use, we transitioned from a hard-shell pack to a second-generation fluorinated ethylene propylene (FEP) bag. The single-use FEP bioreactor facilitates growth of target organisms in a contaminant free environment, while reducing mass and volume compared to the BN-1 hardware. These bioreactors will be employed for production of additional space-relevant products in the BN-2 project. On-orbit testing of FEP production packs will enable optimization of the platform for eventual flight use by the crew.


Natalie Ball, KBR
Hiromi Kagawa, SETI Institute
Aditya Hindupur KBR
Aphrodite Kostakis, KBR
John Hogan, NASA
Alyssa Villanueva, Logyx LLC
Sean Sharif, Logyx LLC
Frances Donovan, NASA Ames
Mark Settles, NASA Ames
Kevin Sims, KBR
Amy Gresser, KBR
ICES204: Bioregenerative Life Support
The 50th International Conference on Environmental Systems was held virtually on 12 July 2021 through 14 July 2021.


BioNutrients, yogurt, probiotic, kefir, biomanufacturing, nutrient production