Scientists from the German Aerospace Center (DLR) have presented in Bremen a model of a space greenhouse that could supply astronauts participating in space missions with fresh food. The model was based on the results of the Eden-ISS project, through which vegetables were grown in Antarctica.
The design is based on a module that can be transported by a Falcon 9 rocket and that can be deployed on the surface of the Moon or Mars, covering an area of 13 m2, stated Daniel Schubert, the director of the Eden-ISS project. Schubert added that the DLR will be able to present the first prototype within five years.
The Eden-ISS project supplied researchers from the German base Neumayer III, in Antarctica, with fresh food during the polar winter. The food was grown in an insulated container with a cultivation area of 13 m2, where the plants grew at outdoor temperatures of up to 42 degrees Celsius below zero without soil, daylight, or pesticides. The necessary energy came from the Neumayer III station, located 400 meters away.
The experiment produced over 270 kilograms of vegetables under extreme conditions, including 67 kilograms of cucumbers and 46 kilograms of tomatoes.