Current space suits carry oxygen bottles for oxygen and some sort of non-regenerative carbon dioxide scrubbers for removing carbon dioxide. This obviously means that a space suit is only able to provide life support for a very limited time.
Around 30 liters of algae and water is able to provide enough oxygen for a human to breathe and remove the equivalent amount of carbon dioxide. This has been experimentally verified first by Shepelev and then many others. However, in some experiments this algae was spread over 8 m2.
So, my question is - would it (theoretically) be possible to build a suit that would use algae as regenerative life support?
- Is it possible to carry the algae in a wide enough spread layout to rely on natural sunlight, for example, on Mars?
- Is it possible to carry a power source capable of producing enough artificial light for the algae for extended periods of time?
- Atmospheric leakage would have to be replenished somehow, but perhaps this could be a smaller oxygen bottle lasting for a very long time?
- Water vapor would have to be condensed but that could work like it does on current suits?