NASA believes future space travel, for long periods of time, should actually enjoy fresh grown foods vs the tasteless, freeze-dried compounds astronauts have tolerated in the past. Future astronauts could be assisted by robotic farmers that can check soil for moisture content while adding nutrients and additional water when needed.
Houston Space Center’s experts are working on possibilities that would allow humans to live on the moon and actually grow their own foods. By researching and developing plant growth for space stations and aboard shuttles could lead to that very great possibility. Various growing techniques could lead to many more possibilities.
Piotr Szprynwald created a system in collaboration with NASA and Mirko Ihrig which takes sealed soil and seed packets and preserves them on shuttles. The packets contain growing components allowing plants to intake on-board water from the space crafts. The plants receive water from the bottom packets and thereby yielding healthy, nutritional foods. This takes place because of a grainy filling that sucks the water through a membrane located on the bottom of the packets.
Astronauts residing on space stations or aboard space shuttles need the ability to produce more foods and certainly foods that offer nutritional needs along with flavor. Flavor has been a non-existent part of the freeze-dried foods they have endured in the past.
With research and the development of more significant horticulture techniques, the possibility of living on the moon is not that farfetched after all.
Where Hydroponics Might Play a Significant Role:
Hydroponic is a subdivision of hydro-culture which is a method of growing plants using nutrient solutions in water without the need of soil. These plants can be grown with their roots in a solution such as gravel, mineral wood and perlite, to name a few.
Standard plant growth consists of soil working as a mineral reservoir, but soil is not essential in the growth of the plants. When the needed nutrients are imported into the water supply, soil is not a needed element.
The adaptability of hydroponic could very well play an important part in plant growth on the moon or during space travel.
Here are some reasons hydroponics can become a major player in future space travel:
- There is no need for soil
- Water is recyclable, saving water supplies
- Can produce higher more stable produce
- Harvesting is easy
- No need for pesticides
- Healthier, organic consumption
Hydroponics has proved to be a perfect solution for places where standard in-ground farming or indoor garden is totally out of the question.
Herbs and Vegetable Gardens:
Herbs and vegetables play an important part in our seasoning and nutritional values within our diets. Grown and nurtured with high quality nutrients in grow boxes with plant lights will yield high quality crops that can be harvested and enjoyed year round.
Imagine the potential in outer space, on space stations or on the moon where light factors and standard crop growing would be impossible. Gardeners have grown to understand and truly turn toward hydroponics to grow plants that induce healthier, more robust outcomes.
Hydroponic grow boxes can be either partially enclosed or fully enclosed, depending on the existing environmental needs. They are ideal for smaller spaces but offer many options for growing requirements.
These boxes can provide gardeners with the ability to regulate light, water, temperatures and nutrients. An enclosed grow box offers a frame as well as walls, allowing for grow lights from fluorescent to HIDs (high intensity discharge) lighting. Enclosed boxes also offer fans and air filters in order to provide clean ventilation. Some of these boxes also provide a hydroponic system which recycles water which could prove to be a great advantage on a space shuttle or on a space station.
Having the ability to adjust temperature and regulate the infiltration of outside elements could be extremely important in considering the elements of space.
Grow boxes are able to grow any array of plants and vegetation. These boxes take up very little room and are idyllic for the limited spaces in shuttles or on stations.
Shuttle Water Supplies:
As hydroponic systems offer water filters and water systems in order to deliver pH balanced mineral water by removing 98% of contaminants. Removing chlorine, chemicals, metals and sediments from the water supply creates an exceptionally purified water supply.
Purified, pH balanced water supplies the needed oxygen the root zone of plants require for healthier growth.
Hydroponic gardening is an easy method for growing just about any plant imaginable. Whether growing from seeds or from developed roots, the results are a better yield than from classic garden growth. Grow boxes come in many sizes from rather small to large. Grow lights are a major part of hydroponics for those with poor natural light. Why would hydroponics not be a great solution for space stations and shuttles?
The ability to grow fresh, nutritional and healthy foods anywhere from space shuttles and space stations to possibly on the moon is not that far out of reach. There is a strong possibility that hydroponic gardening could play a major part in our future outer space endeavors.
Astronauts growing and enjoying foods that are healthy and offer great taste is just another chapter in the future of hydroponics.