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ARS Home » Pacific West Area » Albany, California » Plant Gene Expression Center » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #385847

Research Project: Discovery of Plant Genetic Mechanisms Controlling Microbial Recruitment to the Root Microbiome

Location: Plant Gene Expression Center

Title: Towards a biomanufactory on Mars

Author
item BERLINER, AARON - University Of California
item HILZINGER, AARON - University Of California
item ABEL, ANTHONY - University Of California
item MCNULTY, MATTHEW - University Of California, Davis
item CRIDDLE, CRAIG - Stanford University
item MCDONALD, KAREN - University Of California, Davis
item YANG, PEIDONG - University Of California
item NANDI, SOMEN - University Of California, Davis
item Coleman-Derr, Devin
item ARKIN, ADAM - University Of California

Submitted to: Frontiers in Astronomy and Space Sciences
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 7/1/2021
Publication Date: 7/19/2021
Citation: Berliner, A., Hilzinger, A., Abel, A., Mcnulty, M., Criddle, C., Mcdonald, K., Yang, P., Nandi, S., Coleman-Derr, D.A., Arkin, A. 2021. Towards a biomanufactory on Mars. Frontiers in Astronomy and Space Sciences. 8:711550. https://doi.org/10.3389/fspas.2021.711550.
DOI: https://doi.org/10.3389/fspas.2021.711550

Interpretive Summary: Addressing the technical hurdles to support a late 2030s mission to Mars will require specific investment in our articulated elements of space biomanufacturing, and rigorous testing in increasingly space-like environments as they become available. In addition to Earth-based research and development, we outline how critical elements of a biomanufactory can be tested and de-risked in coordination with known ISS testbeds, CubeSat programs, Mars-bound rover platforms, and the upcoming Artemis program for revisiting the Moon. We call for a concerted effort to ensure the timely development of SSB to support long-term crewed missions, which can also benefit Earth-based sustainable biomanufacturing.

Technical Abstract: Space Systems Bioengineering (SSB) is a multi-disciplinary approach to design, realize, and manage a biologically-driven space mission. The field has identified a number of individual biological elements that can support deep space missions. For a crewed planetary mission, critical elements include using in situ resources such as the Martian atmosphere and regolith to produce biological feedstocks for downstream bioprocesses; growing diverse food sources to meet nutritional, caloric, and psychological requirements; producing pharmaceuticals flexibly and on-demand; and biosynthesizing versatile materials for 3D printing. We review recent advances in space bioprocess engineering in the context of potential challenges that must be overcome to meet mission goals. This perspective also relates the progress on the goals outlined in previous reviews and presents a new roadmap aligning research, design and testing necessary deploying a biomanufactory during long term missions in the 2040s. Our analysis suggests that the endeavor becomes far more efficient when bioprocess components are linked together into an integrated biomanufactory. The resultant cooperativity in the design provides direct mechanical linkage of processes, uses compatible organisms and media, and maximizes recycling and utility of byproducts. We contend that integrated SSB is a necessary field to develop alongside individual space technological efforts