Development of the microgravity plant growth pocket

M. G. Lefsrud, G. A. Giacomelli, H. W. Janes, M. H. Kliss

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

The Microgravity Pocket (MGP) was designed for continuous production of root crops in microgravity within a controlled environment. The MGP is intended to provide NASA with a "Salad Machine" to grow carrot and radish for consumption by astronauts. Attributes of the pocket system, include light weight; ease of planting, monitoring, and harvesting; no free water; and low energy requirements. The MGP system uses porous sheets of plastic to wick water to the plant roots, which are enclosed within a watertight pouch. An experiment was conducted growing carrot and radish root crops in a horizontal orientation adjacent to a water-cooled high-pressure sodium lamp. The hydrophilic property of the porous sheet provided nutrient solution to the root zone of the plants, but the small size of the pores prevented root growth into the sheet. The MGP was successful in growing both carrot and radish to harvestable size.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1647-1651
Number of pages5
JournalTransactions of the American Society of Agricultural Engineers
Volume46
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 1 2003

Keywords

  • Advanced life support
  • Nutrient delivery system
  • Root crop production
  • Salad machine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences (miscellaneous)

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