According to New York Post, the prototypes are meant to be deployable on demand and will use water found on the Moon/Red Planet to grow crops. Beyond growing food, the Project aims to understand how food-growing systems can also be a part of life-support systems. That is the place the University of Arizona's inflatable nursery comes in, design boom reports. The carbon dioxide released by the astronauts is used to support the plants, which convert it into oxygen while also providing a source of food.
NASA engineers and scientists are now developing systems to harness resources like water, which should be available in some regions of the Martian or lunar surface, to support long-lasting missions. Such production will support astronauts' nutrition and will help with the air revitalization, waste recycling, and water recycling.
The system is hydroponic, so no soil is needed. Then the water would be oxygenated and infused with nutrient salts, continuously slowing across the root zone of the plants. Air in the system is recycled too.
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Since humans exhale carbon dioxide, the greenhouse will collect CO2 from the astronauts, allowing the plants to generate oxygen through photosynthesis. Giacomelli says the next step on the agenda is to test with additional units and computer models to ensure a steady supply of oxygen can be produced from the lunar greenhouses. The prototypes of the lunar greenhouse now being developed are cylindrical, measuring 18 feet long and more than 8 feet in diameter. So, NASA researchers are working on systems which can harness such resources - with an emphasis on water. To make sure they're well stocked with both on future journeys, NASA researchers at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida and the University of Arizona (UA) are working out how to grow enough plants to feed and air a whole crew on a long-term journey.
"The entire system of the lunar greenhouse does represent, in a small way, the biological systems that are here on Earth", Wheeler said. For the objective to protect plants from radiation in space, greenhouses are likely to be placed below the surface of the Moon and Mars. Researchers have also figured out how to utilize natural light. Specific LED lights have been introduced to the inside of the casing, yet a fiber optic framework could likewise be accustomed to bringing packed characteristic light into the space for plants.
Astronauts have already shown the world their green thumbs by growing plants and veggies aboard the ISS.