Algae in Space: A Potential Food and Fuel Source?

ANTHONY BOUCHARD | July 29, 2018

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During SpaceX’s recent CRS-15 launch, a mission to resupply the International Space Station with fresh supplies, the commercial space company’s Falcon 9 rocket brought a critical new science experiment to the Earth-orbiting space lab: algae. Algae promises a potential high yield food and fuel source for astronauts in upcoming deep-space missions without the demanding light requirements imposed by other plants. It offers protein, starch, and oil in a relatively small package, and it can also be rather easy to grow in liquid. Scientists want to know how challenging it is to grow algae in a liquid in a micro-gravity environment, and so the International Space Station offers a unique opportunity to test this idea and learn whether it could become a viable food and fuel option or not.

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