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Operational Evaluation of VEGGIE Food Production System in the Habitat Demonstration UnitThe 2010 Desert Research and Technology Studies (DRATS) of the VEGGIE Food Production System in the Habitat Demonstration Unit (HDU) Pressurized Excursion Module (PEM) was the first operational evaluation of salad crop production technology in a NASA analog test. A systematic evaluation of rooting media and nutrient delivery systems were evaluated for three lettuce cultivars that have shown promise as candidates for a surface based food production system. The VEGGIE nutrient delivery system worked well, was able to be maintained by multiple operators with a minimum of training, and supported excellent lettuce growth for the duration of the test. A Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) evaluation was performed using ProSan(tm) as sanitation agent prior to consumption was approved, and the crew was allowed to consume the lettuce grown using the VEGGIE light cap and gravity based nutrient delivery system at the completion of the 14-day DRAT field test. The DRAT field test validated the crew operations; Growth of all lettuce cultivars was excellent. The operational DRAT field testing in the HDU identified light quality issues related to morphology and pigment development that will need to be addressed through additional testing. Feedback from the crew, ground support personnel, and human factors leads was uniformly positive on the psychological value of having the crop production system in the excursion module. A number of areas have been identified for future work, to minimize the "footprint" of the Food Production system through creative use of unused wall and floor space in the unit.
Document ID
Document Type
Conference Paper
Stutte, Gary W.
(NASA Kennedy Space Center Cocoa Beach, FL, United States)
Newsham, Gerard
(NASA Kennedy Space Center Cocoa Beach, FL, United States)
Morrow, Robert M.
(Orbitec Technologies Corp. Madison, WI, United States)
Wheeler, Raymond M.
(NASA Kennedy Space Center Cocoa Beach, FL, United States)
Date Acquired
August 25, 2013
Publication Date
July 17, 2011
Subject Category
Man/System Technology And Life Support
Report/Patent Number
Meeting Information
41st International Conference on Environmental Systems(Portland, OR)
Funding Number(s)
Distribution Limits
Public Use Permitted.
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