“Mission Mars”: which relevance for terrestrial sustainability?

Long term manned mission implies to fly with a mobile, miniaturized and simplified ecosystem on board to supply the crew with food and water. At Earth Space Technical Ecosystem Enterprises (ESTEE), we are convinced that preparing such amazing missions on ground can also teach us how to better manage resources on Earth.

Especially because regenerative Life Support Systems (LSS) make a wonderful job: they transform human waste into resources!

Towards a future closed habitat simulator

Space habitats do present “astronomic” scientific and technological challenges be it in terms of size, performance or reliability. You have to be fully autonomous, and there is no emergency exit! In short, no way to cheat with stocks!

Today, on our planet, a growing number of habitats are under constraints that are similar to the extreme ones found in space habitats, at least to a certain extent. Extreme confinement, isolation, biosecurity, and extremely limited available resources are some of these constraints. We could think, for instance, of very densely populated cities or settlements in arid areas. In this context, a ground simulator of closed habitat would be very welcome. In fact, this would be an ideal technological demonstrator for purely terrestrial research.

This is precisely the kind of activities ESTEE is most interested in as a start-up implementing technological transfer activities that aim to reach the market shortly.

Closing the loop

In a nutshell, we consider it necessary for sustainability on Earth to propel ourselves, even partially, into the extreme conditions of manned interplanetary mission in a (semi-)closed habitat, such a ground simulator for a Mars mission.

Space regenerative LSS and their associated Earth-based applications demonstrate that waste can also be a precious resource, a source of wealth.

Continuing to develop them would help us arrive faster at nearly integral recycling coupled with super efficient food production.

In addition, such human demonstrators should be developed for terrestrial R&D and technological integration of sustainable solutions.

How about if the most beautiful result of space LSS development was simply to improve our living on Earth, by allowing us to make a more elegant use of its resources?