Eu:CROPIS (Euglena and Combined Regenerative Organic-food Production in Space) is a satellite mission launched successfully on 19 November 2018. Main payload are two greenhouses each as a pressurized closed loop system simulating the environmental conditions of the Moon or Mars and also on long duration missions. Numerous cameras and sensors observe the growth of tomatoes in space. This mission runs for 16 months. In order to simulate the differing levels of gravity a 230 kg lightweight satellite has been designed to rotate around its longitudinal axis while orbiting at an altitude of roughly 575 km. Depending on the rotational speed the satellite is able to replicate
In addition, three secondary payloads are onboard. Another biological experiment "PowerCells in Space", dealing with synthetic biology (provided by NASA Ames Research Center), a radiation measurement device RAMIS will deliver radiation field patterns inside and outside the satellite and a scalable onboard computing platform called SCORE.
The satellite mission is initiated by DLR Programmdirektion Weltraum with overall mission responsibility by DLR Institute of Space Systems (Bremen). Similarly to the BIRD mission, DLR shows its ability to design, develop, launch and operate a satellite completely on its own. The scientific part of the mission is under supervision of DLR Institute of Aerospace Medicine and the University of Erlangen. The ground segment consists of DLR Space Operations with the ground station Weilheim and GSOC as control center.
3 December 2018
DLR / GSOC
Weilheim, O’Higgins, Spitzbergen, St. Hubert, Saskatoon