NASA Builds Inflatable Greenhouse in Space

NASA is preparing for life on Mars as we speak. For years, the scientists at NASA have been experimenting with sustainable life in space—specifically Mars—and how to grow crops that will sustain human life while being away from Earth.

Recently, NASA scientists and agriculture researchers have designed an 18 by 7 foot inflatable greenhouse that can grow the greens we need deep in space. The prototype greenhouse will be used not only to grow food, but to revitalize air, recycle water and waste. In fact, the carbon dioxide exhaled by astronauts will be used by the plants to go through photosynthesis and produce oxygen. The process is called a bioregenerative life support system. Click the jump for more info.

“We’re mimicking what the plants would have if they were on Earth and make use of these processes for life support,” said Dr. Gene Giacomelli, director of the Controlled Environment Agriculture Center at the University of Arizona. “The entire system of the lunar greenhouse does represent, in a small way, the biological systems that are here on Earth,” he continued.

This is a major breakthrough in the experimentation of life in space. The next big step, says Dr. Giacomelli, is “…to use additional lunar greenhouse units for specialized testing to ensure the system being developed will adequately support a crew of astronauts working on the moon or Mars.”

Check out NASA’s site for more info and updates on the greenhouse in space.