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Village on the moon - China in talks with European Space Agency

Village on the moon - China in talks with European Space Agency

The Prototype Lunar/Mars Greenhouse project is specifically created to grow vegetables and feed astronauts on Mars.

Researchers at NASA and the University of Arizona, Tucson will be working together to bring long-term sustainability to our space pioneers - one greenhouse at a time.

The greenhouse is made of an inflatable material and functions as a closed loop, integrated with the astronaut's life support systems. Astronauts exhale carbon dioxide, which plants absorb. Such production will support astronauts' nutrition and will help with the air revitalization, waste recycling, and water recycling. Water will either be shuttled along from Earth or sourced from "the lunar or Martian landing site", NASA notes. It will continuously flow across the root zone of the plants and return to the storage system.

NASA is working on a greenhouse system that can potentially allow astronauts to grow plants and vegetables during space missions. The Crew Dragon will be fully autonomous, the company said, so the space travelers won't have to be trained astronauts-their voyage can be monitored and controlled by SpaceX mission specialists on the ground in Hawthorne, Calif. Lift-off will be from Kennedy Space Center's historic Pad 39A near Cape Canaveral-the same launch pad used by the Apollo astronauts.

The inflatable greenhouse that can grow vegetables and feed astronauts on Mars is now being studied 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", Wheeler said.

Dr. Roberto Furfaro is the lead investigator from the University of Arizona for the current phase of the project. The prototypes of the lunar greenhouse now being developed are cylindrical, measuring 18 feet long and more than 8 feet in diameter.

The prototypes are cylindrical structures that measure 18 feet in length and are more than 8 feet in diameter.

Greenhouse units that will be sent for space missions will likely be buried under surface soil or the regolith to protect them from radiation in space, which means that these systems would require specialized lighting. The Veggie systems on board the International Space Station already grow crops in space and use a purplish lighting made via a combination of red and blue Leds. The researchers are also testing hybrids with both natural and artificial lighting.

"I think it's interesting to consider that we're taking our terrestrial companions with us", Wheeler added.

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