NASA’s first inflatable Greenhouse could enable water recycling on Mars

May 4, 2017 16:34 IST

NASA Scientists have designed an inflatable greenhouse that could be used one day by astronauts to grow fresh food and produce oxygen on Mars or Moon.

The first-of-its-kind sample involves an inflatable, deployable greenhouse that can support plant and crop production for nutrition, air revitalisation, water recycling and waste recycling.

 First Inflatable Greenhouse

Key Highlights

• The new approach uses plants to scrub carbon dioxide while providing food and oxygen for those working in deep space.

• This way the carbon dioxide exhaled by the astronauts will be introduced into the greenhouse and the plants would then generate oxygen through the process of photosynthesis.

• Similarly, the water cycle too would begin with water brought along or found at the lunar or Martian landing site. The water would be oxygenated, given nutrient salts and it would continuously flow across the root zone of the plants and then return to the storage system.

• Currently, scientists are conducting tests on the Prototype Lunar Greenhouse to determine what plants, seeds or other materials should be taken along to make the system work.

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Besides this, NASA Scientists are developing systems to harness resources such as water that should be available in certain areas of the lunar or Martian surface in order to support missions that last for months or years.

While prior to this, astronauts have successfully grown plants and vegetables aboard the International Space Station (ISS), NASA wants to develop long-term methods to help sustain pioneers working in deep space.

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