Moon - not the most favorable place for the cultivation of fruits and vegetables. The lack of atmosphere and natural water, extreme temperatures and cosmic rays, are major obstacles for the future inhabitants of this planet, who will try to establish themselves there for any length of time. In order to solve these problems, researchers have created a lunar greenhouse, which is designed to grow in extreme lunar conditions such plants as potatoes, peanuts, tomatoes, and peppers.
Five and a half meter greenhouse, elaboration of Phil Sadler of Sadler Machine Co. and Gene Giacomelli, together with colleagues from the University of Arizona, will be placed under the surface of the moon, which will protect it from deadly cosmic rays and solar flares. Plants can grow in the greenhouse without soil, thanks to the technology called hydroponic and mineral additives and an elongated envelope to hold the seeds during their growth.
The greenhouse is designed in such a way that the plants get the carbon dioxide that is exhaled astronauts. Furthermore, water for them can be obtained from human urine. Astronauts do not have to fall under the moon’s surface to deliver these ingredients to the plants. Instead, carbon dioxide and water will be transported there by sealed drives. Just as sunlight can be delivered to the plant via a fiber-optic cable.
Researchers have provided remote control, and even offline, the food was ready for the arrival of the astronauts. The entire system can be packed into a disc, a width of one meter, which, on arrival at the moon, can be deployed in just 10 minutes. With the condition of the ground by means of monitoring sensors and cameras, vegetables grow in a month.
"Basically, it’s a robotic mechanism for the production of food, oxygen and fresh drinking food" - Giacomelli said in a press release.
A total lunar greenhouse contains approximately 100 pounds of wet planting material, which can produce 50 liters of water and 0.3 kg of air for a period of 24 hours, during the same time consumes 100 kilowatts of electricity and 0.4 kilograms of carbon dioxide.
Most functions of the garden were developed during the project South Pole Growth Chamber at the South Pole, which was conducted by Sadler Machine Co. When in certain months during the year, the ocean currents cut off from civilization, South Pole, they had to overcome the same obstacles that will meet on the moon. Researchers are also working on technology that will create gardens in a densely populated city, where the fertile soil is practically never encountered.
"There is a great demand for the production of fresh food, right there, where he lives most of the people," - said Giacomelli. "The idea is to create high-quality fresh food that does not need to be transported over long distances. This will restore agriculture in the daily lives of urban residents." We will tell you the exciting news from the horse’s mouth.