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European sea bass (Dicentrarchus labrax) and meagre (Argyrosomus regius) fertilized egg resistance to a spacecraft launcher vibration qualifying test

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Food autonomy represents an essential challenge for the future Moon Village planned by the European Space Agency. Rearing fish on the moon to provide essential amino acids, omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids and vitamin B12 could become a reality using integrated multi-trophic aquaculture (IMTA). The Lunar Hatch programme’s goal is to fertilize farmed fish eggs on Earth that would hatch upon arrival at the lunar base. However, the vibrations from a spacecraft’s launch are an unusual situation for fish eggs and may have a negative impact on them. European sea bass (Dicentrarchus labrax) and meagre (Argyrosomus regius) eggs were exposed to mechanical stresses using standard protocol performed to approve a satellite for space launch. The hatching rate was evaluated after vibration expositions at different hours post fertilization (hpf). An initial series of tests subjecting the eggs to orbital rotation demonstrated their integrity. In subsequent tests, mechanical stressors acting on the Soyuz spacecraft was simulated to test impact on fish eggs. The results showed egg robustness for European sea bass at 35 hpf (one-third of the embryo development) and 83 hpf (two thirds) and of meagre at 14 hpf (one third), with no significant difference in hatching rate compared with an unshaken control batch. European sea bass embryos and potentially other fish species with similar incubation periods (4–6 days) seem to be good candidates to surviving a spacecraft launch. This paper discusses the findings and suggests possible future research avenues.

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The Lunar Hatch programme and LAUVE project (2019–2020) are supported by Ifremer. The author would like to sincerely thank Véronique Ribière for her communications consulting expertise, her involvement and her valuable contributions in discussions around the project. A video of the experiment can be viewed at In memory of Gilles Futsch (1967–2016), the first supporter of the Lunar Hatch project.


The experiments were auto-financed by the French institute for the exploration of the sea (Ifremer).

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Correspondence to C. Przybyla.

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Przybyla, C., Dutto, G., Bernard, M. et al. European sea bass (Dicentrarchus labrax) and meagre (Argyrosomus regius) fertilized egg resistance to a spacecraft launcher vibration qualifying test. Aquacult Int 28, 2465–2479 (2020).

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