NTRS - NASA Technical Reports Server
A hydroponic method for plant growth in microgravityA hydroponic apparatus under development for long-term microgravity plant growth is described. The capillary effect root environment system (CERES) is designed to keep separate the nutrient and air flows, although both must be simultaneously available to the roots. Water at a pressure slightly under air pressure is allowed to seep into a plastic depression covered by a plastic screen and a porous membrane. A root in the air on the membrane outer surface draws the moisture through it. The laboratory model has a wire-based 1.241 mm mesh polyethylene screen and a filter membrane with 0.45 micron pores, small enough to prohibit root hair penetration. The design eliminates the need to seal-off the plant environment. Problems still needing attention include scaling up of the CERES size, controlling biofouling of the membrane, and extending the applications to plants without fibrous root systems.
August 12, 2013
January 1, 1985