Tuesday, 7 February 2017

Space Farming: Satellite's Greenhouses to Simulate Moon, Mars Gravity

Space Farming
DLR
 The space science has crossed over a long way and registered some memorable achievements, which have changed the scenario and the basic approaches to the scientific research and applications. Almost half a century ago, the first step of a human was made on the lunar surface and now people, attached to the space research, are planning for Mars and beyond to stretch the horizon of the study and to touch newer feats. One of the major issue in the space research is the quest for the presence of life in other planet and or in somewhere in this universe and there are some magnificent achievements have already been acquired by the team of scientists, working in various space research agencies.

Today, there are in-depth studies are being carried out to ascertain the condition or creating an atmosphere, where life can be sustained and a favorable condition for the sustenance of the living bodies may be possible in one way or other. As part of this mission, there is a planning to launch a satellite, in the later part of the year, which will conduct an experiment on plant growth in both the lunar and also on the Martian gravity, to provide some useful assistance in the preparation of the future settlements for the human, along with, other living creatures and bodies.

Some Important Features

  • As per the plan, the EU: CROPIS space capsule will be rotating around the own axis in the low-Earth orbit and at an approximate altitude of 600 km. In the initial stage of first six months, the satellite will produce almost the same gravitational force of the moon and after that, in the next six months, it will replicate the Martian gravity. 
  • It can be noted that at this time in space, tomato seeds be germinated and the same will grow into tiny space tomatoes and this incident will be covered by 16 nos. of onboard cameras, which will capture and document the progress of these tomatoes. To support this program, microorganisms, which are contained in a drip filter, will use an ingredient like synthetic urine that would produce effective fertilizer for those important tomatoes. 
  • As said by the EU: CROPIS team members; the Euglena microbes will provide support in producing oxygen for the entire system and it would be supplied with necessary protection against the presence of excess ammonia. The Euglena microbes and tomatoes are requiring day/ night rhythm and to make it possible, LED lights will be used to get the perfect ambiance and condition and also a pressure tank is being used, which is having the potential of replicating Earth’s atmosphere. 
  • In essence, the principal plan is to simulate and test the greenhouses, which will be assembled inside the Martian or Lunar habitat and provide localized source of fresh food for the crew members. The entire process of farming will be supported, managed and controlled by the theme of "Waste to Fertilizer"- as mentioned by Hauslage, the head of the scientific component of this much hyped EU: CROPIS mission.