LIAC: A Closed Ecosystem Research Facility

by Derek E. Shipley, Univ of Colorado, Boulder, CO, USA,
Mark S. Miller, Univ of Colorado, Boulder, CO, USA,
Jeffrey D. Smith, Univ of Colorado, Boulder, CO, USA,
Marvin W. Luttges, Univ of Colorado, Boulder, CO, USA,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Engineering, Construction, and Operations in Space III


A preliminary design for a closed research facility capable of supporting multispecies and ecosystem level experiments is presented. This project will support NASA's Controlled Ecological Life Support System (CELSS) program while providing hardware validation for the future man-rating of life support systems. The Life In A Can project, or LIAC, is designed to support a variety of organisms in a closed environment on Earth, in Low Earth Orbit (LEO), and on the lunar surface for periods of up to 10 years. LIAC utilizes a phased implementation plan that allows for the realization of specific deliverables and the production of spin-off technologies while remaining flexible to fluctuating budgetary constraints. The benefits of this project are not limited to space but will also be useful in ecology, biomedical studies, exobiology, and other earthbound applications.

Subject Headings: Ecosystems | Space life support systems | Building design | Federal government | Validation | Organisms | Lifeline systems | Orbits

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