Introduction: Cube Module Design
Astronauts are very limited with the amount of space they are given on their spacecraft, which leaves them with little to no space to do anything besides living and working. Sadly, this means space to produce food is also very limited. This being said, it is our job to create a design to make use of the available growing space on the spacecraft that can maximize food production while requiring the least amount of care on behalf of the astronauts. We have thought deeply about a solution to the dilemma that astronauts are facing on spacecrafts. After thinking critically about our design, we have been inspired by the concept off the veins in leaves. Our design is made up of a glass cube that is separated in the inside by two sheets of glass. The separation inside the cube using the additional sheets of glass serves the purpose of not only allowing light to enter but it also allows us to create eight isolated compartments. First we have our first well for water to flow to each compartment to the plants. This well of water helps eliminate the need for astronauts to constantly spend time that can be used for far more important things than to have to water each compartment. Below the water well is an identical well of water that will be used for capillary action. It is very important that we plan where we want the plants to grow because if we don’t do this the plants may grow incorrectly. This being said, as some of you may know, plants grow in the direction of light. So we were thinking, what direction of should we allow light to enter the compartment to be able to allow the maximum amount of plant growth. We came to the decision to have light on all of the edges of the cube. This forces the plants to grow in the direction of the corners of the cube which allows the most amount of space to grow. We will be adding two electric fans into the design that regulate proper airflow throughout each and every compartment.
Step 1: Innovations to Our Design
1) A total of 8 shelving units which creates more space for plants
2) A pressured watering system that is on a timer to ensure proper watering
3) Two electric fans to regulate airflow and moisture
4) We will have LED lights in the corners of our design to ensure maximum growth by using the hypotenuse of the box.
Step 2: CAPILLARY ACTION
The issues of water distribution is one we hope to find a solution to by using capillary action and a pressurized system. The tube all the way to the left would represent the well, and the other tubes represent “veins” sending water to other parts of the plant. Since there is no gravity, an automated pressure system would be used.
Participated in the
Growing Beyond Earth Maker Contest