Designing a Closed Ecological Life Support System for Plants, Overview

  • Paul ZabelEmail author
Living reference work entry


Humanity’s plans to further explore space require the development of bio-regenerative life support systems (BLSS) fully incorporated into space stations, transit-vehicles, and eventually in habitats on the Moon and Mars. These concepts aim to decrease the (re-)supply mass by (re-)generating essential resources for humans through biological processes. Within a BLSS, the cultivation of higher plants takes a crucial role as they can contribute to all major functional aspects (e.g., food production, carbon dioxide reduction, oxygen production, water recycling, and waste management). Furthermore, fresh crops are not only beneficial for human physiological health but also have a positive impact on crew psychological well-being. Adding up these features, higher plants represent a unique asset that makes the investigation of their cultivation in closed systems an essential endeavor. However, plant cultivation in closed environments is challenging and requires several specialized subsystems. This chapter gives an overview on what a closed ecological life support system for plants or space greenhouse is, how it functions, and what kind of subsystems are required.


Bio-regenerative life support Plant Greenhouse Greenhouse design 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of Space SystemsGerman Aerospace Center (DLR)BremenGermany

Section editors and affiliations

  • Roberto Furfaro
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Systems and Industrial EngineeringThe University of ArizonaTucsonUSA

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