European Space Agency
Head of MELiSSA project

“Will mathematical simulation of lettuce growth contribute to human mission to Mars?”

Basic calculation of the mass of human needs (i.e. oxygen, water, food) demonstrates that , today, Mars missions are not feasible without a drastic reduction of this mass. Although we can reasonability, reduce this mass via chemical/physical processes for water and oxygen. Food cannot be produced without biological processes, and this what so ever are the considered food sources: plants, algae, yeast,…
However these oxygen, water or food productions do not present any interest if these productions are not issued of the progressive recycling of the mission waste (i.e. CO2, food waste, urine, packaging,…).
Started in 1989, the project of the European Space Agency: MELiSSA, is a precursor of the well-known concept of circular economy. In this presentation, we present the key challenges of circular system, the knowledge requirements, the MELiSSA project and of course the recent achievements.


Dr Christophe Lasseur - European Space Agency Coordinator of Life Support R&D activities
Head of MELiSSA project
ESA representative of the International Space Station medical board: Microbial safety
ECLSS Certified instructor for European astronauts PhD in bio- Engineering from Compiegne University of Technology (F)

Chairman of the International life support working group, for the harmonisation of NASA, ESA, JAXA, CSA and RSA

Research in life support  from 2000 to 2012. Member of the board of the EU Water technolo board from 2005 to 2008.