The acronym MELiSSA means 'Micro Ecological Life Support System Alternative'. It refers to a space research program aiming to develop an artificial ecosystem for bio-regenerative life support systems for long-term space missions to lunar bases or flights to Mars. The MELiSSA Project is managed by the ESA ESTEC Thermal and Environmental Control Section (TEC-MCT). The project started 1989 and is based on a collaborative development program between 14 partners and a number of supporting sub-contractors.