Introduction: Cube of Life

About: We are a team of students from Martin Van Buren HS.

Our system aims to solve the problem of the astronauts constantly needing to water the plants manually. Using a cubic design optimizes the spacing of each of our variables and gives the plants enough room to grow without imposing issues. The system allows the water to dispense on a timer, rather than needing to water them manually every few hours.


  • Plastic Glass
  • Silicone
  • 2 Timers
  • Tubes
  • Rockwool Cubes
  • Automatic water pump with pressure switch
  • Electric Fan
  • 2 Red LED Strips
  • 2 Blue LED Strips
  • 1 Green LED Strip

Step 1: Innovations in Our Design

  1. Incorporate 2 shelving units to fit more plants.
  2. 2 Perforated tubing connected to the reservoir to water plants evenly.
  3. Water release runs on a timer, watering the plants with the required amount every few hours.
  4. Pressurized electric water pump to push water through the tubes and into the rockwool.
  5. Electric fan on a timer to regulate humidity.
  6. Purple hued LED strip lights on the corners of the system. Additional green LEDs on the sides.

Step 2: Growth Medium

Similar to a hydroponic system, the lettuce is placed in separate rockwool cubes. The medium itself needs to be soaked in a condition solution that has a pH of 5.5, which then lowers the pH of the rockwool cubes to about 6.0. While the cubes are absorbent, the water runoff shouldn’t exceed more than 30%.

Step 3: The Design

Step 4: 3D Model

The Dimensions

50x50 box

12 cm of LED strip lights

Height of 15 cm for water

Height of 17.5 cm for each shelf (35 cm for two shelves together)

Growing Beyond Earth Maker Contest

Participated in the
Growing Beyond Earth Maker Contest