MAPEX Research Highlights

The MaMBA facility as a testbed for bioregenerative life support systems

Christiane Heinicke; Cyprien Verseux.

Life Sciences in Space Research 36 (2023), 86 - 89 


The Moon and Mars Base Analog (MaMBA) is a concept for an extraterrestrial habitat developed at the Center of Applied Space Technology and Microgravity (ZARM) in Bremen, Germany. The long-term goal of the associated project is to create a technologically functioning prototype for a base on the Moon and on Mars. One key aspect of developing such a prototype base is the integration of a bioregenerative life support system (BLSS) and its testing under realistic conditions. A long-duration mission to Mars, in particular, will require BLSS with a reliability that can hardly be reached without extensive testing, starting well in advance of the mission. Standards exist for comparing the capabilities of various BLSS, which strongly focus on technological aspects. These, we argue, should be complemented with the use of facilities that enable investigations and optimization of BLSS prototypes with regard to their requirements on logistics, training, recovery from failure and contamination, and other constraints imposed when humans are in the loop. Such facilities, however, are lacking. The purpose of this paper is to present the MaMBA facility and its potential usages that may help close this gap. We describe how a BLSS (or parts of a BLSS) can be integrated into the current existing mock-up at the ZARM for relatively low-cost investigations of human factors affecting the BLSS. The MaMBA facility is available through collaborations as a test platform for characterizing, benchmarking, and testing BLSS under nominal and off-nominal conditions.

© 2022 The Committee on Space Research (COSPAR)

Aktualisiert von: MAPEX