MELiSSA ON board DAnish Utilisation flight (MELONDAU) - 05.23.18

Overview | Description | Applications | Operations | Results | Publications | Imagery

ISS Science for Everyone

Science Objectives for Everyone
Long-distance and long-term human space travel can only be possible with adequate life support systems in place that allow for extensive recycling of water, the in situ production of oxygen and food, and with closed regenerative systems being the most ideal way of reducing launch mass and costs. The MELiSSA ON board DAnish Utilisation (MELONDAU) flight is a significant precursor flight experiment to verify the recovery of the biological processes of selected micro-organisms, test a microfluid system that is essential for the overall monitoring and control of a closed regenerative life support system, and verify the acceptability of snacks composed of Micro-Ecological Life Support System Alternative (MELiSSA) ingredients. This is a first step to enable the successful deployment of the European Space Agency (ESA) MELiSSA system in space in the future.
Science Results for Everyone
Information Pending

The following content was provided by Natalie Leys, M.D., Felice Mastroleo, Ph.D., and is maintained in a database by the ISS Program Science Office.
Information provided courtesy of the Erasmus Experiment Archive.
Experiment Details

OpNom:

Principal Investigator(s)
Natalie Leys, M.D., Belgium Nuclear Research Center, Mol, Belgium
Felice Mastroleo, Ph.D., Belgium Nuclear Research Center, Mol, Belgium

Co-Investigator(s)/Collaborator(s)
Holger Brueggemann, Professor, Aarhus University, Department of Biomedicine, Aarhus, Denmark
Serge Pieters, Institut Paul Lambin, Brussels, Belgium
Siegfried Vlaeminck, Ph.D., University of Ghent, Laboratory of Microbial Ecology and Technology, Ghent, Belgium
Peter Clauwaert, Ph.D., University of Ghent, Laboratory of Microbial Ecology and Technology, Ghent, Belgium
Ralph Lindeboom, Ph.D., University of Ghent, Laboratory of Microbial Ecology and Technology, Ghent, Belgium
B. Smets, Germany
M. Jensen, Germany
C. Creuly, France
J-P. Flandrois, France
Y. Abbas, United Kingdom
M. Timsit, France
M-T. Dratz, France

Developer(s)
European Space Agency (ESA), Noordwijk, Netherlands

Sponsoring Space Agency
European Space Agency (ESA)

Sponsoring Organization
European Space Agency

Research Benefits
Information Pending

ISS Expedition Duration
March 2015 - September 2015

Expeditions Assigned
43/44

Previous Missions
Information Pending

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Experiment Description

Research Overview

  • The Micro-Ecological Life Support System Alternative (MELiSSA) system, that is being developed by ESA, aims to provide technological solutions based on biological regenerative processes. These regenerative processes largely use the capabilities of living organisms, such as bacteria. Consequently, there are a few aspects that are key to the overall performance of such regenerative life support systems: 1) successful recovery of full biological processes, after storage and travel of the bacteria into space; 2) monitoring of the biological processes using proven micro-fluidic systems; 3) acceptance of food items composed of components produced within the regenerative system. MELiSSA ON board Danish Utilisation (MELONDAU) aims to assess these three aspects by testing the recovery of biological processes, testing a microfluid system, and verifying the acceptability of snacks composed of MELiSSA ingredients.
  • This is a first step to enable the successful deployment of the MELiSSA system in space in the future. As such, the MELONDAU experiment is an important step in making improvements in life support systems in space, and making future human exploration missions beyond low Earth orbit become a reality.

Description
Information Pending

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Applications

Space Applications
The MELONDAU experiment is an important step in making improvements in the area of closed regenerative life support systems in space, which can help in making future human exploration missions beyond low Earth orbit become a reality. The development of closed regenerative life support systems based on bacteria and other more complex forms of life, could provide an important means of maintaining a safe environment for astronauts on future missions, provide biomass for food consumption, as well as reducing the launch mass associated with non-regenerative systems. This can also help to significantly reduce associated mission costs.

Earth Applications
The development of such systems for space missions also opens the door for use of a subsection of such systems on Earth, especially in remote locations where resupply possibilities are at a premium, or in domains where sustainability is important. Even though oxygen supply may not be a significant issue, other elements of regenerative life support systems may come into play, such as biomass production for consumption and waste material recycling.

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Operations

Operational Requirements and Protocols

The MELONDAU experiment is done in three parts:  Bio-process Survival (BiSTRO), Micro-fluidic Demonstration onboard space station (MiDOSS), and Demonstration of MELiSSA Snacks (DEMES) undertaken between Soyuz vehicle exchange.
 
For BiSTRO (planned during 44S/42S timeframe)
  • Recover samples from upload vehicle and install in stowage/accommodation area. Take pictures.
  • At end of experiment prepare samples for download and transfer to Earth Return vehicle.
For MiDOSS (planned at a later stage)
  • Recover hardware and start video recording.
  • For first cartridge manual shift of the valve to enable flow from buffer reservoir to the rest of the circuit.
  • Chamber flooding: Manual activation of the piston, pushing liquid into the lysis chamber so that the micro-beads are flooded.
  • Aliquot extraction: Manual shift of the valve to prepare for collection of a sample; manual activation of the piston to effectively collect and push forward a sample.
  • Take picture of the final state of the cartridge.
  • Repeat the operations for the other five cartridges.
  • Downlink video after experiment execution and dispose of cartridges.
For DEMES (planned during 44S/42S timeframe)
  • Recover DEMES from upload vehicle and place in stowage.
  • On the selected days, take the relevant snacks package, consume the snack, and fill in the evaluation questionnaire.
  • On the selected days, take the relevant snacks package, share the snacks with the other crew members, and fill in the hedonic questionnaire.

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Decadal Survey Recommendations

Information Pending

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Results/More Information

Information Pending

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Related Websites

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Imagery