Now the astronauts can grow their own food in the space during deep space exploration mission. NASA is sending a self-sufficient plant growth system to the International Space Station (ISS).
This Advanced Plant Habitat (APH) will be used to carry out plant bioscience research on the space station as a part of research to know how plants grow in the space.
In this prototype habitat, Arabidopsis seeds, small flowering plants related to cabbage and mustard have been growing. It will be the first plant experiment called PH-01 which grown in the chamber abroad the space station.
The measurement of the large enclosed chamber is 18 inches square with two inches for the root system and 16 inches available for growth height.
NASA said that the components of this new system have reached at NASA’s Kennedy Space Centre in Florida and are prepared for delivery to the station on Orbital ATK’s seventh commercial resupply mission to the station and it is scheduled to launch on March 19. This system will join Veggie, NASA’s first fresh food growth system already active on the station.
NASA Advanced Plant Habitat project manager Bryan Onate said, “A big difference in this system, compared to Veggie, is that it requires minimal crew involvement to install the science, add water, and perform other maintenance activities.”
He added, “We are learning how plants grow in space and what levels of commodities, such as light and water, are required so we can maximize our growth with the least resources.”
It uses blue, red and green LED lights and broad spectrum white LED lights. The system’s 180 sensors will relay real-time information, including temperature, oxygen content and moisture levels back to the team at Space Centre in Florida.