Closed ecological plant cultivation system and bakery for extended stay on Mars, and applications on our own planet

Spacebakery was a cooperative business project (type ICON) in which several businesses from the various sectors collaborate with research institutes to create a ‘Space Bakery’. 

The 'Space Bakery' is a closed ecosystem for plant cultivation and a bakery. Research is carried out for long-term stays on the planet Mars and potential applications on Earth. 

It is a closed and self-sustaining modular system that is independent of agricultural soil and climate and that makes optimum use of raw materials.

foto spacebakery

1. Hardware – closed production system
2. Efficient crop production
3. Use and recycling of raw materials
4. Monitoring the microbial climate
5. Healthy and nutritious basic food

Preparing for the next phase:
6. Pollination within a closed system

These are the compartments in the containers:

  1. Researchers enter the closed environment via the clean room.
  2. They put on laboratory clothing.
  3.  Wheat is made into flour in the Mars bakery room. The sourdough is created through natural fermentation and the bread is prepared and evaluated.
  4. In the vertical farm room, the crops grow on racks.
  5. The sanitary room includes a toilet, wash basin and shower.
  6. The storage room contains all the materials the researchers will need (tools, etc.)


Curious about the results of disruptive research of 2 years? Read the SpaceBakery story in our RADAR Story newsletter: Zuurdesembrood bakken op Mars, hoe begin je eraan? - Flanders' FOOD (


Flanders’ FOOD managed and coordinated the project.  
The following companies and research groups were responsible for the execution: 

  • Puratos
  • Urban Crop Solutions
  • Magics Instruments
  • Ghent University: Laboratory for Plant Ecology, Faculty of Bioscience Engineering.
  • SCK CEN: Expert group for interdisciplinary biosciences
  • Hasselt University: Centre for Environmental Sciences

SpaceBakery started January 1st, 2020 and ended September 30th, 2022.

Flanders' FOOD logo
Logo Puratos
Urban Crop Solutions
Logo Magics Instruments
Universiteit Gent
Universiteit Hasselt