A new collapsible #greenhouse could be the key to growing fresh and healthy food to sustain future lunar or Martian colonies, a recent project found. Scientists at the University of Arizona’s Controlled Environment Agriculture Center are experimenting with growing plants without the use of soil. Instead, they are trying to demonstrate that potatoes, peanuts, tomatoes, peppers and other vegetables can be grown in only water? a process known as hydroponic growth.
The team built a prototype lunar greenhouse in the CEAC Extreme Climate Lab that is meant to represent the last 18 feet of one of several tubular structures that would form part of a proposed lunar base. The tubes would be buried beneath the moon’s surface to protect the plants and astronauts from deadly solar flares, micrometeorites and cosmic rays. As such, the buried greenhouse would differ from conventional greenhouses that let in and capture sunlight as heat. Instead, these underground lunar greenhouses would shield the plants from harmful radiation.
Credit: University of Arizona