The MoreBac experiment is proposed by the Division of Proteomics and Nanobiotechnology, KTH
In the frame of human space exploration, space agencies have been studying technical solutions to provide the crew with the necessary metabolic consumables. In the case of a human-occupied planetary base, one solution consists in implementing a pocket Earth ecosystem, also called closed regenerative life support system, relying on micro-organisms and higher plant to close the carbon and nitrogen cycles, among others.
The start-up of such a system, and re-start in case of contingency, requires the transport, long-term storage and revival of the higher plant seeds and the micro‐organisms.
As a matter of fact, the seeds are the natural form of a plant which can be stored for long duration with a conservation of the biological functionalities. As far as micro-organisms are concerned, few conservation methods (e.g. cryopreservation, freezing at -80°) are known and broadly used in laboratories.
However, such methods are resource-demanding and difficult to automate. Although conservation under freeze-dried form is common and presents several advantages, it needs to be further investigated.
Indeed, the exact freeze-drying protocol is usually specific to the biological specimen and the survival rate is poorly characterized. Therefore, it is proposed to investigate the revival of micro-organisms conserved in a freeze-dried form.