The Global Space Exploration Conference (GLEX) took place in St. Petersburg in June 2021. The conference brought together several leaders and decision-makers in the international science and space exploration community. Urban Crop Solutions and partners were selected to present two projects of the 250 that were presented during the conference. The SpaceBakery project was awarded the first-place prize.
Organised by the International Astronautical Federation (IAF) and Roscosmos (the Russian space agency responsible for space flights and aerospace research), the conference gathered several international stakeholders from the science and space exploration community, on a year which marks the 60th anniversary of Yuri Gagarin’s spaceflight.
The winning SpaceBakery project is an interdisciplinary cooperative research project between seven partners, of whom, Urban Crop Solutions is the lead vertical farming technology and research partner. The objective of the consortium is to develop the next generation of bread products to support future space missions and aid the long-term survival of settlers on Mars, in addition to being applicable for modern agriculture. The overall goals and objectives of the consortium were presented by the Puratos Group (Belgium), the leading commercial partner of the SpaceBakery project.
Urban Crop Solutions also presented another joint project, the ‘variable climate biosphere’ that they have designed. The variable climate biosphere is a macro life support system that aims to create the best-suited environment for humans and plants to thrive together during extended periods of isolation, either on another planet – namely, the moon and Mars – or on earth in an underground shelter. The presentation showcased the 3D renderings, as well as the results that have so far been obtained.
“Our approach to partner with ambitious global industrial groups and research institutions for controlled indoor farming solutions is finally paying off. We feel that we are at the cutting-edge with our technology, products and services in the fast-emerging urban farming industry – whether it is in space, in cities, on the surface or beneath it.” – Maarten Vandecruys, CTO and co-founder of Urban Crop Solutions