Plants in Space
Tuesday, April 25, 2006 1:11:54 AM
People have several basic needs: oxygen, water, food, and waste removal. Plants growing in a closed system can take care of all those needs. After all, Earth is a closed system. Humans use oxygen, and when they consume food, carbon dioxide is given off as waste. Plants use the carbon dioxide, along with water and minerals, to produce food and more oxygen.
If we want to establish permanent bases on The Moon and Mars, we can not any longer rely on precooked meals from Earth. On Earth, plants provide four essential life-sustaining benefits to humans. They remove harmful waste. Plants produce oxygen. Through transpiration plants purify water, and they supply food. Can plants replace life-sustaining technology currently used in orbit?
There have been several shorter or longer experiments with plants in Space. Currently NTNU in co-operation ESA and NASA are constructing a control room to follow experiments with plants on board the International Space Station, ISS .
The Moon landings at the end of the sixties was not primarily possible because of the advancement of the rocket technology after WWII, but was feasible because of the computer. Conquering of Deep Space will be possible because of advanced gardening.