NASA isn’t something you would immediately associate with farming, but this new garden system is suitable for space and is set for the stars very soon.
In previous years, NASA made small systems that are capable of growing lettuce and even Chinese cabbage in space; the systems are cube-shaped and provide the perfect conditions for horticultural growth. The original little system was called Veggie, but the new one is the ‘Advanced Plant Habitat’.
Photo from NASA/Bill White
The Advanced Plant Habitat (APH) is a bigger and better ‘space garden’ than has ever been attempted before. The white, red, blue, green, and infrared lights used in the APH can simulate the sun, and the pad of artificial soil in which seeds are placed can be pumped full of nutrients and moisture.
The soil is a ‘substrate pillow’, and the room’s humidity, carbon dioxide levels, air velocity, and more can be totally controlled.
The APH’s predecessor Veggie was first harvested from back in 2015 on the International Space Station. APH is 25% bigger, and will be ready to go by next year. This kind of technology means that more robust vegetables and food sources can be grown even while in space. This will reduce astronauts’ reliance on dried foods and can make sure that longer periods of space exploration can occur without a fear of food completely running out.
Click here for more information.