- NASA scientists have designed an inflatable greenhouse that astronauts could one day use to grow fresh food and produce oxygen on Mars or Moon.
- The prototype involves an inflatable, deployable greenhouse to support plant and crop production for nutrition, air revitalisation, water recycling and waste recycling.
- While astronauts have successfully grown plants and vegetables aboard the International Space Station (ISS), NASA wants to develop long-term methods that could help sustain pioneers working in deep space.
- The new approach uses plants to scrub carbon dioxide, while providing food and oxygen.
- astronauts exhale carbon dioxide, which is then introduced into the greenhouse, and the plants then generate oxygen through photosynthesis.
- The water cycle begins with water that is brought along or found at the lunar or Martian landing site. Water is oxygenated, given nutrient salts, and it continuously flows across the root zone of the plants and returned to the storage system.
Source: The Hindu