Description and relevance of BIOS

For detailed analysis and prognostic estimation of microflora’s development dynamics on ISS, it is important to carry out experiments under diverse combinations of environmental factors, relevant for spacecraft environments. A facility representative of spacecrafts which makes it possible to carry out such investigation in terrestrial conditions in a controlled way is required, in order to prepare the validation of countermeasures in space.

Such a facility should meet the following life support requirements:
  • To be a pressurized volume in size comparable with the ISS living module.
  • To provide environmental parameters’ control (air flow rates, temperature, humidity, artificial illumination, etc...) within sufficiently broad limits including those ones optimal for human life support.
  • To be suitable for humans’ long-term autonomous stay via mass exchange closure.
At present the BIOS-3 facility owned by the IBP SB RAS (Krasnoyarsk, Russia) meets the abovementioned requirements. Of all the man-made life support systems so far devised, "BIOS-3" is the only one that has kept a crew of 2-3 alive for 4-6 months by almost 100% closure of the cycle in terms of gas and water and more than 50% in terms of food (Salisbury et al, 1997; Gitelson et al, 2003). Extensive experience of microbiological investigations during the long-term experiments in the BIOS-3 (including a human crew) is available (Rerberg et al, 1977; Gitelson et al, 1981; Kochetova et al, 1988).

Therefore, the BIOS facility is adequate for execution of microbiological researches predesigned in the frames of the given project. In this project, it is proposed to use the BIOS-3 living module. This BIOS-3 living module includes 3 crew cabins, a kitchen- dining room and also spare room, which can be used as a recreational area, a laboratory or a workroom. All basic life support parameters (mentioned above) can be controlled within necessary limits in the BIOS-3 facility. The living module configuration satisfies, in whole, the self-sustained conditions of humans’ long-duration presence. In fact, the BIOS-3 living module was successfully used in all experiments including a human that totally lasted about 13 months.

General characteristic of the "BIOS-3" Complex

  • The “BIOS-3” complex is placed in a pavilion situated 2.5 m underground. Internal dimensions are 17x17 m, with a height of 6 m. Therefore, the working volume of the pavilion is 1700 cubic meters.
  • The BIOS-3 complex is surrounded by two-level service platform, which includes technical and medical staff and equipment providing functioning of the complex and work control.
  • The “BIOS-3” complex is a welded body from stainless steel, size – 14x9 m, height – 2.5 m. The body is divided into 4 equal compartments (see figure) by sealed walls.
  • The “BIOS-3” complex was meant for studying the characteristics of life support systems including humans, based on environmental waste recycling. Three of the compartments were occupied with phytotrons for plant growth. The 4th compartment included the crew spare-rooms, furnishings and accessory equipment and was used as public room, laboratory, workshop or lounge.
  • Overall size of the complex is 315 m3; the size of each compartment is approximately 79 m3. All compartments of the system communicate with each other and with the external environment through sealed doors. To organize the interlink gas-exchange and water-supply the compartments are joined with the corresponding gas and water pipelines. Safety doors provide quick (15-20 sec.) exit of the facility from any section without external help in case of danger.
  • Temperature conditions in the pavilion are provided with the help of exhaust ventilation. In winter and offseasons the central heaters maintained comfortable temperature.
If you are interested to make an experiment in this facility, please contact Pr. Alexander Tikhomirov.