mgr inż. Krzysztof Lewandowski
Wrocław, Polska
5 luty 2000

Polska wersja
tego artykułu


Similarly as all life organisms are living on Earth in the same volume of gases, fluids and solid materials which never leave and never came, so we can live in the interplanetary ship thus taking on the deck suppliesń
Konstanty Tsjolkovski

The question is it possible to build a close ecosystem similar to Earth in space were pervaded people from ages. On this conviction are based a belief to find another planet, which thus its conditions could stay the Second Earth. Konstanty Tasjolkvski said: Earth is a cradle of making, but the man never stayed al life in the cradle. Is clear that the trial to create of closed ecosystem, where all conditions for existence of plants, animals and people is great adventure for sciences many spheres. The base conditions have to be protect:
  1. saving of still circulation of the air, naturally or artificial
  2. saving water circulation
  3. saving circulation of biologic materials
  4. crating conditions for all regeneration processes all above factors were doing on the base of naturally change and biochemical reactions
  5. saving the light, naturally or artificial with similar to natural parameters
  6. saving suitable ground to cultures

Taking into consideration at the technically point of view we can state:
  1. Air circulation could be save in very easy solution: by using of funs and all systems gases pipes. His partially regeneration could protect a carbon dioxide filters and ionizatories. This solution could save an oxide from pressure bottles. There are need a big finance for electric sources. Naturally circulation is possible there where a building have big volume, where are big temperature fluctuations between regions in this object. As we know a heat air is increase volume and be in the close volume is pressurized. If we now connect this object with second, where air is cool, and, of course, lower pressure is doing a low of the communicating vessels, which said that all systems are going to equilibrium.
  2. Water circulation could save thus artificial system of pumps, filters and pipes. It create a big power consumption. In the case of naturally water circulation the key element is an existing of many regions in ecosystem with different water vapor level. There is needed a big open water reservoir, placed there to be its surface in regions with big difference of temperature. There could are a many little water reservoirs, placed in different regions and working as big water reservoir.
  3. Circulation of the organically material is possible to save only on naturally process i.e.: all processes of destroying and revival are made by living organisms. Here is a question: what kind of organisms? All depend from the scale of the object. The big object with big volume could have a big evaluate organisms. One of the model object for lower organisms is the system of yeast leaven and chlorella in the separate vessels connected by pipes. There yeast leaven are made a carbon dioxide which is utilized by chlorella in photosynthesis process. There is making as a waste product a oxide utilized by mushrooms. That is, could be said, self-powered ecosystem.
  4. Example above is very simply, but not to enough to without a problems move to bigger object. The problem is created when is need to build a system where as its element will be a man. For the man is needed to save a food, oxide and water. A waste disposals of organic changes (carbon dioxide, urine, stool, waste water from hygienic processes) have to be recycling in ecosystem for again introduce in cycle.

    Table 1. Day balance of water for a man (orientating dates) [11]
    Ingestion of water [ml] Purgation of water [ml]
    Drinks 1200 Urine 1400
    Water in foods 1000 Feces 200
    Water make in man organism under a breathing 300 Water emitted with a breath and sweat 900
    Total 2500 Total 2500

    One of the first tests was provided in former Soviet Union an experiment with name: BIOS-3.
    This experiment was provides in years 1967-1968 in the Krasnojarsk Biophysics Institute of the Siberian Department of The Science Academy USSR. It was a half of year [13]. In another sources is wrote that it was a one year to November 5, 1967 [4,9].

    Fig. 1. Inside BIOS-3 complex.

    Crew was:
    A.G. Manowcew ś medic, B.N. Ulybyshev- technical, A.N. Bozhko- biologic [4,11].
    Recognized system was inside in hermetic iron accommodation with geometry: 15*8.4*2.5m and cubature 315m^3 [9], which was separate on four main rooms:
    1. fitotron (water cultivator, where plants growing) with wheat 20m^2
    2. fitotron with vegetable culture: beetroots, cabbage, carrots, leeks and turnips 20m^2
    3. water cultivators with chlorella alga, 2 vessels with 20 liters of dry plant
    4. loving room for three crewman (single cabins, kitchen, toilet and bathroom)

    The target of this experiment was check of possibility of self-supplying a crewman in this system. In BIOS-3 chlorella alga had saved still oxide coming, its effiecity of two cultivators has been 2000 liters per each day ( a man need 4 times less). Fitotrons with the wheat and vegetables has been light by 20 xenon lamps each one. Those cultures was used to regeneration of metabolic materials from crew. There a liquid and solid waste materials after a demineralization (destruction for oxides, mineral salts and water) were directed to chlorella cultivators (it wasnęt used as a food source). All waste water has been directed to wheat and vegetable cultivators. Water source in this system was a water vapor concentrator in rooms of cultures. By filtration and treatment water was good for drinking [13].
    The sketch of the gas a water circulation in experimental complex BIOS-3
    Gases and water circulation system is matching by:
    Light gray- a waste air; gray- air partially cleaned by chlorella;
    Light blue-fresh air; dark green- water from urinal; violet- water cleaned by chlorella;
    dark blue- waste water from kitchen and toilet; blue- drinking water.
    K- cultivators with chlorella alga; PG- gas pump; F- carbon filter; M- urinal; W- knot of sorption treatment drinking water; Z- waste water vessels in kitchen and toilet; KP- water vapor concentratorę PWP- drink water vessel.

    Mini dictionary:
    Pomieszczenie z chlorellą- room with chlorella fitotrons;
    Pomieszczenie bytowe- living room;
    Kajuta- cabin;
    Łazienka- toilet, bathroom

    Fig 2. Sketch of the BIOS-3 complex [13].

    BIOS-3 complex had partially self-sufficient. Effiecity of wheat and vegetables cultivators could protect only 20% of the necessities. Day production has been 200g of wheat and 388 g of vegetables per each one crewmember (a bread cloud be bracken). A rest was from supplies. Air regeneration efficiency has been over 100%, a crewmembers has build a special stove to burn a straw because there couldnęt hold a oxide equilibrium (was its too much). Water regeneration have protected 95% of recycling [13].
    Those experiment has been provided over 30 years ago with connection of the soviet plans to built a permanent moon base after a spectacularly landing by Alexiej Leonov. But landing never has been done by imperfection oh the soviet moon rocket N-1 ( from five starts each one hasnęt been done successful). Astronautics of the Soviet Union, after a wry pill, has concentrated on the long-term manned space flights on the deck of space stations Salut 1-7 and Mir.
    The researching in BIOS-3 hasnęt been closed. In 70ęies years has provided an experiments where time of duration was to 6 months, the crew was complete from three persons. For example: in 1977 has been provide 4 months experiment, where thus using a high plants full recirculation of oxide, water and partially a food. In 1984 was provided a 5 months experiment, where crewmembers were a employers of the Institute: N. Burgiejev and S.Alexiejev [4].
    Under space flights are providing an experiments linked with biomedicine and botanic. They have answered for question how is an influence of less gravity and zero gravity on organisms been prepared by Nature to living in the gravity conditions. Recognize all mechanisms, which lowered of creation all changes could help to direct a researching to protect by them. Meanwhile it help to closing an answer, it is possible to create on space station and interplanetary ships efficiency closed ecosystems.
    Another experiment of closed ecosystem has been BIOSPHERE-2 provided from 28 September 1991 to 26 September 1993 on desert in Arizona state, USA [1]. Area of the researching was closed region inside iron-glass constructions with total area 1,28 hectare (66000 sq.meters). it was isolated from ground by concrete layer and covered by glass. On ecosystem has completed elements:
    1. desert with 1400 sq. meters, with days amplitude of temperature 40 degrees of Celsius, there should exist 400 sorts of plants;
    2. marsh with 3600 sq. meters area;
    3. water vessel was imitated an ocean with max. deep 8,75 meter with coral reef;
    4. savanna
    5. rainforest with area 1900 sq. meters;
    6. cultures with area 2200 sq. meters with 50 sorts of vegetable and fructs.

    Dimension of BIOSPHERE-2 complex:
    Length: 154meteres;
    Width: 110meters;
    Max. High: 28 meters.

    First crew were:
    Bernard Zabel- electronic engineer, chairman of crew;
    Abigal Alling- vice-chairman;
    Linda Leigh- botanic;
    Sally Silverstone- communication media;
    Taber MacCallum- eng. Informatics;
    Mark van Thillo- mechanic;
    Jane Poytner- be responsible for plants cultures, diabetic of crew;
    Roy Walford- prof. of pathology from university in Los Angeles, crew medic.

    Fig 3. Sketch of BIOSPHERE-2

    Mini dictionary:

    Obszar agrokultur, podzielony na trzy strefy- agroculture region, separeted for three zones; Las deszczowy- rainforest;
    Plastikowa przegroda- plastic sheet;
    Plaża- beach;
    Ocean- ocean;
    Sawanna- savanna;
    Zarośla mangrowe- mangrove estuary;
    Plastikowa przegroda oddzielająca pustynię- plastic sheet isolates desert;
    Pustynia- desert;
    Wielkie płuca doprowadzające do normy ciśnienie wewnątrz biosfery względem zewnętrznego w celu zminimalizowania strat- Giant Ńlungń adjuset the pressure inside the biosphere to that outside to minimalise leaks;
    Wielkie płuca- Giant ŃLugsń;
    Kwatery mieszkalne- living quaters;

    Because a projectors would create almost full agroculture, bionauts breed a poultry, pigs, fishes and corn, sorgo, grain, bananas, tomato, and others. Full complex has been powered by two electric generators with total power 3,5 MW. However in this cause it hasnęt a total success. BIOSPHERE-2 couldnęt get a gas equilibrium. It effect of excessive enriching a soil of fertilizers there had reproduced of microorganisms which absorbing a great volume of oxide (there has been two time given from outside) and they emitted a great volumes of carbon dioxide. Fortunately the construction made from concrete had absorbed this gas under drying process.
    Agricultures efficiency allowed to protect of 80% of the necessities. Bionautics diet of necessity was completed from low-caloric diet reach in a grain seeds, bean and vegetables. According to assessments have done after closing an experiment in BIOSPHERE-2 complex, from 25 sorts of vertebrates had die 19, had die all anemophilous plants. Die a large majority of the ants, cockroaches and american grasshoppers.
    It seems that he best test had have a complex construction ś gases loosing donęt crossing 10% per year. To bring a chance for provide a deep psychological analyze of the closed group of people. Moreover overall complex was stayed a big touristy attraction, what had get to weak creasy of bionauts [2,7,8,10]. After closing ox BIOSPHERE-2 experiment in the came complex was provide from 6 march 1993 the same experiment but for 10 months. The mistake was opening a doors for tourists.
    The problem of researching on closed ecosystems is still actually. One of those proposition to find solution is advice in January 1996 before an Britainęs Millennium Commission in London a project named EDEN, to close under glass layer hermetic capsule 8 hectares of ground [3]. It will be completed similarly to BIOSPHERE-2 from four basic climatic zones: savanna, semi desert, rainforest an basin a-la Mideterrian See. The task will be recognizing a useful those ecosystem to man existence in closed environment. It could get a comparison of results to american experiment.
  5. a problem of lighting is one of the biggest what could be under constrution of ecosystems in deep space. Please imagine how big of power have to be a power source to light fro example of 8 person crew and culture for journey near the Big Planets. As we good know, a sunlight intensify near Mars planet is about 45 % at the Earth. Artificial lighting first of all have to be energy sparing and long term. In large o majority lighting were naturally without a BIOS-3 experiment. Under its duration has been used 20 xenon lamps to lighting a cultures. However now providing experiments and deliberating new technology of base construction tu put a sunlight on the place.
    For example if traditional form of greenhouse: Martin Marietta project, used to conception of Mars Direct by Robert Zubrin project. Second, hardly, but allow to built a base in case of dangerous space rays: on Moon, by using a light pipes with parabolic mirrors, concentrated a light have been presented by Lockheed company.

    Fig. 4. Martian base conception by Martin Marietta company for Mars Direct program [12]

    Fig. 5. Lockheed company conception with using of light pipes and parabolic mirrors [5]

  6. a saving suitable ground to culture
    In case of the used way of plants culture, a needed complex to supplying of people in oxide and water will be characterized by variable effectively and necessity of area, water application, air and putting in manures. In BIOS-3 complex had been use a hydrophonic culture ie. Without a soil ground. It were only for chlorella alga. Wheat and vegetables had been culture traditionally. In BIOSPHERE-2 complex all plants had traditional culture in soil ground. Now recognizing plants cultures in space are strictly linked to gravity conditions. Tested on space shuttles and space stations are based on hydrophonic culture. However not ever it is a rule is highly probably of using totally newest plants is a plant culture in home soil of space body for example Moon or Mars.

    Fig. 6. Plants culture in moon soil. Samples from Apollo 15 mission.

    From left- salad, in middle on right and left- tomato, on right- citrine trees

Summary, construction of artificial biosphere, even in a simples variant is very complicated. This article doesnęt finite an subject. Here werenęt get a results of researching of plants and animals in space, space station and space shuttles. My intention has been underlining of the importance this problem in long term space missions.

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  3. "Clay-pit to paradise" scheme, NATURE. Vol 379. 25 January 1996r.
  4. Głuszko.W.P. Razwitije rakjetostrojenija i kosmonawtiki w SSSR Izdatielstwo Mashinostrojenije. Moskwa 1987r.
  5. Lockheed Tests Rewcykling for Needs on Moon, Mars, SPACE NEWS 14-20 Oct, 1991.
  6. National Aeronautics and Space Administration. NASA Photo ID: S71-51318 File Name: 10075778.jpg JSC Office of Public Affairs.
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  8. Powrót z raju. Wiedza i Życie1/94r.
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  10. Skazani na Ziemię. Gazeta Wyborcza 3.XII.1996r.
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  12. Tucci Liz, Mars Mission Plans Live Despite Zero Budget, SPACE NEWS 5-11 Oct, 1992.
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  14. Zonn W. Kopernik, Astronomia, Astronautyka, Przewodnik encyklopedyczny, PWN, Warszawa 1973r.

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