Ecopoiesis is the origination of a complete ecosystem in a new habitat.

EcoSphere® - a self-contained ecosystem.1

One goal of Project Persephone is to engineer low-mass, compact payloads for exovivaria ecopoiesis. What makes a small, self-contained ecosystem durable is the subject of ongoing space systems research, since it bears on the issue of Contained Ecological Life Support Systems (CELSS) for long-duration spaceflight and human habitation on the Moon and planetary surfaces.

The packages launched into space by the Project must be deployable either autonomously or by using telebots in free-fall to assemble the environment under ground control. This process should be mostly rehearsed on Earth; some elements that must work in free-fall might be tested in drop towers and perhaps also in longer parabolic flights and on sounding rockets?, to achieve microgravity. Seeds, eggs, spores and microorganisms and their growing media (some special soil, and possibly enough water for aquatic species) will need to be packaged in a way that can be unfolded and distributed inside exovivaria, by telebots that themselves must be unfolded somehow. Much work is likely to go into figuring out the minimal "bootstrap" configuration. The biosatellite design problem might be made more difficult by the need to keep these "seed packages" viable within certain temperature ranges when the package has reached orbit but is not yet deployed.

A longer-term goal Project goal is to engineer ecopoiesis "seed packages" for projectile space launch, for an expected reduction in launch costs. Among the ecopoesis design issues in that scenario:

  • packaging design for high accelerations
  • determining whether the acoustic environment of a projectile, both in propulsion and when transiting the atmosphere, compromises the viability of seeds, eggs, spores and microorganisms
  • consideration of greater temperature ranges owing to atmospheric heating as the projectile transits the atmosphere



1 "About the EcoSphere Closed Ecosystem", Ecosphere Associates, Inc.

Further reading


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