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Plant Growth Research for Food Production: Development and Testing of Expandable Tuber Growth Module
NTRS Full-Text: Click to View  [PDF Size: 1.5 MB]
Author and Affiliation:
Cordova, Brennan A.(Ohio State Univ., Biological Engineering, Columbus, OH, United States)
Abstract: Controlled and reliable growth of a variety of vegetable crops is an important capability for manned deep space exploration systems for providing nutritional supplementation and psychological benefits to crew members. Because current systems have been limited to leafy vegetables that require minimal root space, a major goal for these systems is to increase their ability to grow new types of crops, including tuber plants and root vegetables that require a large root space. An expandable root zone module and housing was developed to integrate this capability into the Vegetable Production System (Veggie). The expandable module uses a waterproof, gas-permeable bag with a structure that allows for root space to increase vertically throughout the growth cycle to accommodate for expanding tuber growth, while minimizing the required media mass. Daikon radishes were chosen as an ideal tuber crop for their subterraneous tuber size and rapid growth cycle, and investigations were done to study expanding superabsorbent hydrogels as a potential growth media. These studies showed improved water retention, but restricted oxygen availability to roots with pure gel media. It was determined that these hydrogels could be integrated in lower proportions into standard soil to achieve media expansion and water retention desired. Using the constructed module prototype and ideal gel and soil media mixture, daikon radishes are being grown in the system to test the capability and success of the system through a full growth cycle.
Publication Date: Nov 17, 2017
Document ID:
20170011666
(Acquired Dec 13, 2017)
Subject Category: MAN/SYSTEM TECHNOLOGY AND LIFE SUPPORT; LIFE SCIENCES (GENERAL)
Report/Patent Number: KSC-E-DAA-TN47929
Document Type: Technical Report
Contract/Grant/Task Num: NNX13AJ45A
Financial Sponsor: NASA Kennedy Space Center; Cocoa Beach, FL, United States
Organization Source: NASA Kennedy Space Center; Cocoa Beach, FL, United States
Description: 14p; In English
Distribution Limits: Unclassified; Publicly available; Unlimited
Rights: Copyright; Public use permitted
NASA Terms: VEGETATION GROWTH; SPACE EXPLORATION; NUTRITION; DEEP SPACE; PROTOTYPES; WATER; SOILS; GELS; VEGETABLES; FARM CROPS; IN SITU RESOURCE UTILIZATION; WATERPROOFING; GAS BAGS
Other Descriptors: VEGGIE; FOOD PRODUCTION; TUBE
Miscellaneous Notes: NASA NIFS Internship
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