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12 May
NASA Designing Inflatable Greenhouse for Use on Mars NASA Designing Inflatable Greenhouse for Use on Mars

NASA Designing Inflatable Greenhouse for Use on Mars

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A large part of sustaining life on Mars is finding a way to give humans the life-sustaining nutrients they receive on Earth. NASA researchers are hard at work doing just that, in the form of a greenhouse system that will allow Mars dwellers to grow plants.

The space agency has already had success in growing plants on the International Space Station, but the same structure faces more challenges on the Red Planet. A team of scientists and engineers have created a prototype at the Kennedy Space Center which uses a closed-loop system to recycle nutrients in a way that imitates the lifecycle on Earth. Astronauts would set up the inflatable greenhouse on the planet, at which point they would be able to produce the plants and crops that are essential to breathing, drinking, and eating.

To get started with a water loop, however, astronauts will need to either bring water with them on their journey or get it from the Martian landing area. A similar setup could be deployed on the moon for lunar travelers.

The next phase of the project will be to test to ensure the setup will be sufficient to support astronauts working on another planet. Tests will involve computer simulations to control the environment inside the inflated greenhouse, as well as determining how best to position the unit to protect astronauts against radiation.

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Read 450 times Last modified on Wednesday, 03 May 2017 09:45
Stephanie Faris

Stephanie is a freelance writer and novelist whose work has appeared on NYPost.com, PSMag.com, the Intuit Small Business Blog, and many others. She is the Simon & Schuster author of 8 children's books, including the Piper Morgan chapter book series, 25 Roses, and 30 Days of No Gossip.

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