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NONTERRESTRIAL CHEMICAL SYNTHESIS OF FOOD
Technical Report,01 Sep 1965,30 Mar 1966
AEROSPACE CORP EL SEGUNDO CA EL SEGUNDO United States
Pagination or Media Count:
The problem of food logistics in long duration manned space flights is explored. It is concluded that development of a purely chemical method for converting human wastes to useful nutrients is essential, either as a primary system or as a backup for an otherwise primary biological system. The principal requirements for such a chemical system are operational simplicity, efficiency of energy utilization, high yield, and reasonably fast rates of reaction. Various possibilities are considered, based on a thorough analysis of the existing pertinent chemical literature. This is correlated with known metabolic data. Special emphasis is given to the synthesis of structurally simple nutrients rather than the immensely complicated chemical ensembles that we normally know as food. It is recommended that special attention be given to the synthesis of carbohydrates by the base catalyzed polymerization of formaldehyde, since this process fits all the requirements and there is available experimental evidence that the end products could be made to be nutritionally acceptable by choice of appropriate reaction conditions. Author
APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE