Record Details

Plant Atrium System for Food Production in NASA's Deep Space Habitat Tests
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Author and Affiliation:
Massa, Gioia D.(NASA Kennedy Space Center, Cocoa Beach, FL, United States);
Simpson, Morgan(NASA Kennedy Space Center, Cocoa Beach, FL, United States);
Wheeler, Raymond M.(NASA Kennedy Space Center, Cocoa Beach, FL, United States);
Newsham, Gerald(QinetiQ North America, Kennedy Space Center, FL, United States);
Stutte, Gary W.(QinetiQ North America, Kennedy Space Center, FL, United States)
Abstract: In preparation for future human exploration missions to space, NASA evaluates habitat concepts to assess integration issues, power requirements, crew operations, technology, and system performance. The concept of a Food Production System utilizes fresh foods, such as vegetables and small fruits, harvested on a continuous basis, to improve the crew's diet and quality of life. The system would need to fit conveniently into the habitat and not interfere with other components or operations. To test this concept, a plant growing "atrium" was designed to surround the lift between the lower and upper modules of the Deep Space Habitat and deployed at NASA Desert Research and Technology Studies (DRATS) test site in 2011 and at NASA Johnson Space Center in 2012. With this approach, no-utilized volume provided an area for vegetable growth. For the 2011 test, mizuna, lettuce, basil, radish and sweetpotato plants were grown in trays using commercially available red I blue LED light fixtures. Seedlings were transplanted into the atrium and cared for by the. crew. Plants were then harvested two weeks later following completion of the test. In 2012, mizuna, lettuce, and radish plants were grown similarly but under flat panel banks of white LEDs. In 2012, the crew went through plant harvesting, including sanitizing tlie leafy greens and radishes, which were then consumed. Each test demonstrated successful production of vegetables within a functional hab module. The round red I blue LEDs for the 2011 test lighting cast a purple light in the hab, and were less uniformly distributed over the plant trays. The white LED panels provided broad spectrum light with more uniform distribution. Post-test questionnaires showed that the crew enjoyed tending and consuming the plants and that the white LED light in 2012 provided welcome extra light for the main HAB AREA.
Publication Date: Jul 15, 2013
Document ID:
(Acquired Aug 26, 2013)
Report/Patent Number: KSC-2013-157
Document Type: Conference Paper
Meeting Information: International Conference on Environmental Systems (ICES) and the Amerian Institute of Aeronautics and Atronautics; 15-18 Jul. 2013; Vale, CO; United States
Financial Sponsor: NASA Kennedy Space Center; Cocoa Beach, FL, United States
Organization Source: NASA Kennedy Space Center; Cocoa Beach, FL, United States
Description: 13p; In English; Original contains color illustrations
Distribution Limits: Unclassified; Publicly available; Unlimited
Rights: Copyright; Distribution as joint owner in the copyright
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