NASA develops Lunar greenhouse that could be used on Mars
NASA’s Lunar greenhouse project aims to help astronauts grown their own vegetables on the Moon and Mars.
TUCSON, ARIZONA — NASA hopes astronauts will be able to grow their own vegetables on future missions to the Moon or Mars, thanks to a greenhouse project it is working on with the University of Arizona.
The prototype lunar greenhouse is cylindrical. It is 18 feet long and more than 8 feet in diameter. It uses a hydroponic system in which water enriched with nutrient salts flows continuously through the roots of the plants.
The carbon dioxide exhaled by the astronauts can be absorbed by the plants. In return, the plants produce oxygen for the astronauts through photosynthesis. The exchange forms a bioregenerative life support system, according to NASA’s official website.
“The entire system of the lunar greenhouse does represent, in a small way, the biological systems that are here on Earth,” Dr Gene Giacomelli, director of the Controlled Environment Agriculture Center at the University of Arizona, said in a press release.
NASA’s Veggie Plant Growth System was the first fresh-food growth experiment on the International Space Station. The space agency hopes to provide a more sustainable approach to long-term exploration on the Moon, Mars and beyond.
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