As NASA and other scientific groups begin to examine the prospect of sending humans to Mars or other space bodies, one of the primary concerns is their food source. And this is not just during the trip, but while they possibly live for years on another planet. Now, with some new design specs and a few creative ideas, the Prototype Lunar/Mars Greenhouse project may have developed a solution.
Inflatable Greenhouse to Offer Green Food on the Red Planet?
However, the problems regarding a sustainable food source for a colony on Mars are a bit more complicated. Growing potatoes in one’s own ordure may work for Matt Damon, but most mission crews would prefer more dependability and variety in their diets.
That is where this new design comes in. Dr. Ray Wheeler is the lead scientist of this project, working in the Kennedy Advanced Life Support Research.
“We’re working with a team of scientists, engineers and small businesses at the University of Arizona to develop a closed-loop system,” he said. “The approach uses plants to scrub carbon dioxide while providing food and oxygen.”