Science/Health

The Prototype Lunar/Mars Greenhouse could sustain astronaut life in space while on mission to Mars or other planets [VIDEO]

By Mharia Emmareen / 2017.04.29
This inflatable greenhouse could feed astronauts on Mars

Astronauts have once proven that it is possible to grow plants and vegetables such as lettuce in the International Space Station Thanks to the Prototype Lunar/Mars Greenhouse, astronauts set for a mission on Mars or other planets will no longer go hungry.

NASA scientists based at Kennedy Space Center in Florida worked together with a university team in producing lasting ways to support astronauts while in outer space. Kennedy Advanced Life Support Research lead scientist, Dr. Ray Wheeler said that the Prototype Lunar/Mars Greenhouse project will reinforce the current study of cultivating plants and vegetables in space to support astronauts some food for sustainability.

Dr. Wheeler said, "We're working with a team of scientists, engineers and small businesses at the University of Arizona to develop a closed-loop system. The approach uses plants to scrub carbon dioxide while providing food and oxygen."

The Prototype Lunar/Mars Greenhouse incorporates a pump-up and portable greenhouse that could sustain plant and vegetable production for food, air regeneration, and recycling of water as well as wastes. This method is named as the bioregenerative life support system. The carbon dioxide that astronauts exhale is brought toward the greenhouse that is mostly needed by plants. The plants, in turn, will give off oxygen that astronauts need.

 The test on the Prototype Lunar/Mars Greenhouse includes figuring out what type of plants, seeds or other supplies that should be brought along to accomplish the system to operate once it was brought along to moon or Mars or even other planets.

The University of Arizona noted the Prototype Lunar Greenhouse (LGH) as a Bioregenerative Life Support System (BLSS) because of its design as well as its assembly of advanced hydroponic plant growth chamber. The project's mission is to provide something more aside from sustaining human life in outer space. It also aims to transport up-to-the-minute factual technology to Earth's CEA.

The lunar greenhouse prototypes are currently built with a cylindrical shape that measures 18 feet long and exceeding 8 feet in diameter. Sadler Machine Company is one of the partners that work on the Prototype Lunar Greenhouse. To safeguard the lunar greenhouse from space radiation, the units will be laid underneath the soil or layers of loose materials such as soil, volcanic ash, dirt, or sand.

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