SEMiLLA x DAB Lab Frugalising Space Solutions
It has been exactly 60 years since humankind has found itself in space for the first time. Since then, space missions have been becoming longer and more commonplace. This has certainly created issues of the sustenance of astronauts in space, as their survival requires very large masses of oxygen, water and food, which are too expensive and bulky to be transported. A possible solution to this problem is employing a circular life support system, and that is exactly what the MELiSSA space research consortium tries to do. The students of the minor are working with a part of the MELiSSA research program, SEMiLLA, which tries to apply circular space technology on Earth. However, while the SEMiLLA department together with the Delta Agrifood Business Lab in Bergen op Zoom are doing a feasibility study for (high-tech) space applications, the students will looked into “frugalising” these space applications to make them more generally applicable.
Delta Agrifood Business Lab The Delta Agrifood Business lab, is an agrifood that tries to bring innovative companies together to work smarter, more sustainably and circularly. It is an open innovation and expertise centre for business and education, as well as a breeding ground that gathers and shares knowledge about Agrifood. The students’ initial assignment was to work on the energy efficiency of the building. However, they quickly saw an opportunity to combine its knowledge with SEMiLLA's to try to combat an Earthly problem, namely, malnutrition in Kenya. One effective way to combat this and other national public health issues is an algae used in long-term space missions by NASA - spirulina. Spirulina has a protein content of 70%, which is three times the amount found in beef.