Sign In

A new generation of space experiments

The TIME SCALE project was planned for oral presentation at the 41th COSPAR Scientific Assembly, July 31 - August 7, 2016 in Istanbul, Turkey. The assembly was unfortunately cancelled due to the attempted coup in Turkey in July.

The Committee On SPAce Research, COSPAR, promotes scientific research in space at an international level. Its largest conference, the biannual Scientific Assembly was born in 1958, just after the launch of Sputnik-1, and serves today as an open forum for discussions of scientific space research.

The next Scientific Assembly is scheduled for 2018 in Pasadena, California.

TIME SCALE oral presentation


TIME SCALE - A new generation of space experiments


S. Belz1, J. Bretschneider1, Ø.M. Jakobsen2, TIME SCALE project team, A.I.K. Jost2

1) Department of Space Transport Technology, University of Stuttgart, Germany, 2) Centre for Interdisciplinary Research in Space (CIRiS), NTNU Social Research, Trondheim, Norway


The TIME SCALE project will bring closed regenerative life support system (CRLSS) to the next level by further development of the European Modular Cultivation System (EMCS). The EMCS has been successfully operated on the International Space Station (ISS) for seven years with rotors allowing scienti c research under Moon and Mars gravity exposures in addition to microgravity conditions. The EMCS modular design provides the possibility to replace the individual subsystems including the entire rotor system. The main objective of the TIME SCALE project is to develop an EMCS Advanced Life Support System Breadboard (EMCS ALSS BB) and demonstrate the operational capability for the ISS. Several compartments of a CRLSS such as higher plants (crops) and algae bioreactors will be investigated.

Scientific knowledge on higher plant and crop physiology and fundamental processes under Moon and Mars gravity conditions are essential to ensure a safe and reliable food supply in future space exploration and integration of higher plants into a CRLSS. As part of the project an EMCS crop cultivation system will be developed and tested with larger and adapted experimental containers. The closed water and nutrient management research and development activities will include solutions for challenges such as lack of thermal convection and the need of optimized technology (e.g. ion specific sensors) to monitor nutrients available for plants. Remote sensing diagnosis of plant health will be investigated for future space applications using sensors and imaging techniques and Selected Ion Flow Tube Mass Spectrometry (SIFT- MS). Knowledge and technology on nutrient and water recycling and early warning for crop suboptimal growth conditions has significant terrestrial relevance for greenhouse systems. The TIME SCALE project brings together universities and small or medium enterprises with the state of the art knowledge and experience needed to develop the EMCS ALSS BB for ISS and has the capacity to utilize the gained knowledge and concepts for terrestrial application.


The full presentation can be downloaded as PDF (1.4MB): TIME SCALE presentation - COSPAR 2016.

August 7, 2016. Illustration: Stuttgart University.