Higher plants in closed life support system

​Future long term mission to the Moon and Mars rely on a life support system capable of regenerating all the essentials for survival. As identified through MELiSSA (Micro-Ecological Life Support System Alternative), such regenerative life support systems need to include a compartment for production of higher plants. Plants provide a regenerative food source, aid in oxygen production, and contribute to purification of air and water. In general, the available information regarding effects of the space environment on plants is inconclusive, and suffers from limitations in available flight hardware, sensor technology and research facilities that simulate space conditions. In addition, more work is necessary on the canopy scale and with food crops relevant for life support. On the whole, the available literature seems to prove that plants can grow and reproduce in space when provided with a well stirred atmosphere and grown at moderate light levels.