NASA is developing new methods for the supplying the astronauts from the International Space Station (ISS) with the fresh grown food. In 2015, the first harvest of salad made happy all astronauts and specialists from NASA on Earth, now, the new self-sufficient plant growth system will be sent to ISS. It will help astronauts grow their own food during deep-space exploration missions.
NASA has developed the new plant system that will join “Veggie” in March, it is the first fresh food growth system already active on ISS. The Advanced Plant Habitat is designed to support bioscience research aboard the space station for up to a 135-day investigation, and for at least one year of continuous operation without maintenance.
According to Bryan Onate of NASA:
“This system requires minimal crew involvement to install, add water, and other maintenance activities.”
Arabidopsis seeds, small flowering plants related to cabbage and mustard have been growing in the prototype habitat and will be the first plant experiment, called PH-01, grown in the chamber aboard the space station. The large, enclosed chamber measures 18 inches square, with two inches for the root system and 16 inches available for growth height.
The new plant system for ISS uses broad spectrum white LED lights and red, blue and green LED lights. The system’s 180 sensors will relay real-time information, including the critically important to the plants like temperature, oxygen content and moisture levels back to the team.