Space Diet: Daily Mealworm (Tenebrio molitor) Harvest on a Multigenerational Spaceship

Ruth Sang Jones


It has been proposed in recent years that insects are a viable food source that should be seriously considered for the future. Their high nutritional value, small size and rapid reproduction are also promising for space agriculture. In this paper, a possible future Multi-generational Spaceship with sufficient interior room to have an insect breeding room is considered. The insect of interest here is the mealworm (Tenebrio molitor), which has a very high protein content. The daily mealworm harvest aboard such a ship that satisfies the protein requirement of a stable crew population of 160 is approximated here to be ~162,000.  There is also qualitative discussion of other considerations for a spaceship mealworm colony.


Health; Biology; Metabolism; Nutrition; Mealworm; Spaceship

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