Sustainable bioproduction on Mars

Sustainable bioproduction on Mars

A long-term human presence on Mars requires a continuous provision of consumables for the crews. To help address this need, we are working to lay the foundation for sustainable bioproduction processes in Martian settlements. Our approach combines microbes and plants to produce essential resources, from fertilizers to food to bioplastics to oxygen, as well as to recycle organic waste – all starting from materials available in Mars’s ground and atmosphere. Our system is versatile and modular; it could be used to connect further bioprocesses to local resources, thereby alleviating the need for consumables imported from Earth.


Project Leader

Dr. Cyprien Verseux
ZARM – Center of Applied Space Technology and Microgravity 
University of Bremen

Am Fallturm 2, 28359 Bremen, DE
+49 421 218-57830
cyprien.verseuxprotect me ?!zarm.uni-bremenprotect me ?!.de


Publication highlights


Integration of a Photobioreactor into the MaMBA Facility as Part of a Human-centered Life Support System

Paul Große Maestrup, Ksenia Appelganc, Saurabh Band, Florian Stechmann, Vera Hagemann, Anna Förster, Cyprien Verseux, Christiane Heinicke

52nd International Conference on Environmental Systems (2023)


Martian Landscape

A vision for Human Mars Exploration made in Bremen

M. Avila, C. Heinicke, L. Colombi Ciacchi, A. Dekorsy, S. Fehrler, K. Rezwan, N. Sieroka, K. Tracht, C. Verseux

44th COSPAR Scientific Assembly. Held 16-24 July, 2022. Online at Abstract PEX.2-0002-22.

Bibcode: 2022cosp...44.3186A

Leading space agencies have the…

Martian Landscape

Setting the ground for sustainable bioproduction in a Martian settlement

Cyprien Verseux, Tiago P. Ramalho, Jess Bunchek, Daniel Schubert, Guillaume Pillot, Sven Kerzenmacher

44th COSPAR Scientific Assembly. Held 16-24 July, 2022. Online at Abstract F4.1-0012-22.

Bibcode: 2022cosp...44.2840V

To be sustainable, a settlement on Mars…


In vivo characterization of electroactive biofilms inside porous electrodes with MR Imaging

Luca Hauser, Johannes Erben, Guillaume Pillot, Sven Kerzenmacher, Wolfgang Dreher, Ekkehard Kustermann

RSC Advances  12 (2021), 17784-17793

doi: 10.1039/d2ra01162j

Identifying the limiting processes of electroactive biofilms is key to improve the performance of bioelectrochemical systems (BES).…


Equipping an extraterrestrial laboratory: Overview of open research questions and recommended instrumentation for the Moon

Christiane Heinicke, Solmaz Adeli, Mickael Baqué, Giuseppe Correale, Miranda Fateri, Steven Jaret, Nina Kopacz,  Jens Ormö, Lucie Poulet, Cyprien Verseux 

Advances in Space Research 68 (2021)


Humans are once again preparing to leave Earth and land on…


A Low-Pressure, N2/CO2 Atmosphere Is Suitable for Cyanobacterium-Based Life-Support Systems on Mars

Cyprien Verseux, Christiane Heinicke, Tiago P. Ramalho, Jonathan Determann, Malte Duckhorn, Michael Smagin, Marc Avila

Frontiers in microbiology12 (2021)


The leading space agencies aim for crewed missions to Mars in the coming decades. Among the associated…

EDEN ISS Greenhouse in Antarctica

Biomass Production of the EDEN ISS Space Greenhouse in Antarctica During the 2018 Experiment Phase

Paul Zabel, Conrad Zeidler, Vincent Vrakking, Markus Dorn, Daniel Schubert

Frontiers in Plant Science  11 (2020)

doi: 10.3389/fpls.2020.00656.

The EDEN ISS greenhouse is a space-analog test facility near the German Neumayer III station in Antarctica. The facility is part of the project of the…