Space, Defence and Resilience
The mission of Solar Foods is to solve the global food crisis. We work towards this end through the development and building of commercial-scale Solein factories that will produce nutritious and functional protein with minimal emissions and resources spent. However, we also look with interest beyond Earth: we want to use our expertise and skills to grow food out of thin air in space… because if we can do it in space, we know we can do it anywhere.
Space is the ultimate stress test for our bioprocess. It represents both an opportunity to advance the history of science and a chance to grow and diversify our business. We work with organisations dedicated to conquering the final frontier to solve their food challenge, which would make two things possible:
First, while Mars is one of humanity’s goals in space, the issue of a secure food supply has still not fully been resolved. The duration of a Mars mission would be measured in years. Taking all the necessary food along would be virtually impossible with current spaceships. Growing food on-flight would help the mission to actually become a reality.
Second, learning to grow food on existing space stations in low-earth orbit is a question of cost-efficiency. Sending a kilogram of cargo to space costs an estimated $20,000 or more. If Solein can be produced in orbit, this could reduce the need for maintenance flights up there: each kilogram of food grown in space either creates huge costs savings, or means more room for payload cargo, such as research equipment.
Some initiatives touch upon both challenges of feeding astronauts in space. A great example is the Artemis program which seeks to establish a long-term presence on the Moon, then use the momentum of what humanity learns there to guide a manned mission to Mars.
Resilience here on Earth is another area are we want to develop further. Designing container-sized Solein production units takes our bioprocess mobile and provides new solutions for demanding conditions. Remote communities or outposts – or in more unfortunate cases, disaster zones or military defence situations – need a secure source of food in case normal supply is cut off. Building resilient solutions can save lives and just like our work in the sphere of space, teach us a lot about the optimisation of our bioprocess.
Space and Resilience are incorporated parts of our business strategy – and we have several initiatives and projects in motion in these fields. Learn more:
Arttu Luukanen: Solving the food crisis from Mars missions to arid deserts
If you’re interested in cooperation or would like to discuss more, we’re happy to talk! Please contact:
Arttu Luukanen, Senior Vice President, Space & Defence
+358 40 736 9717