Microbial ecology of the closed artificial ecosystem MELiSSA (Micro-Ecological Life Support System Alternative)

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MELiSSA is a bioregenerative life support system designed by the European Space Agency (ESA) for the complete recycling of gas, liquid and solid wastes during long distance space exploration. The system uses the combined activity of different living organisms: microbial cultures in bioreactors, a plant compartment and a human crew. In this mini review, the development of a short cut ecological system for the biotransformation of organic waste is discussed from a micro-organism's perspective. The artificial ecological model - still in full development – that is inspired by Earth's own geomicrobiological ecosystem serves as an ideal study object on microbial ecology and will become an indispensable travel companion in manned space exploration.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)77-86
JournalResearch in Microbiology
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2006


  • MELiSSA, Bioregenerative life support, Microbial ecology

ID: 308322