loading page

Dark Food: Feeding People In Space Without Photosynthesis
  • Michael Nord,
  • Scot Bryson
Michael Nord
The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory

Corresponding Author:michael.nord@gmail.com

Author Profile
Scot Bryson
Orbital Farm
Author Profile


Production of food in space via photosynthetic crops similar to the ones we use on Earth requires profligate use of resources that will be in short supply in early long duration space missions. We demonstrate that production of bulk calories via chemotrophic single cell organisms is 2 to 3 orders of magnitude less expensive in terms of energy, volume, and water usage than via photosynthetic crops. In addition we survey the history and current state of the art in production of food from non-photosynthetic single cell organisms.
01 Jun 2022Published in New Space volume 10 issue 2 on pages 187-192. 10.1089/space.2021.0048