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An investigation into MELISSA, an artificial eco-system intended for space travel, including discussions with astronauts about the role of micro-organisms in space travel, in this engaging video for KS4 science lessons.
MELISSA, or Micro-Ecological Life Support System Alternative, has been developed as an artificial closed loop eco-system in which micro-organisms are used to break down human waste, produce nutrients for plants, absorb CO2, produce oxygen, and grow edible algae.
At labs in Belgium and Barcelona, scientists give updates on the MELISSA project experiments, and explain the types and functions of various micro-organisms involved.
They also talk about the unknowns of microbial evolution, the risks of mutation, and the need to do further space-based testing.
Part of the series: Inside Science