GroPod© Space Garden - Growing Beyond Earth

Introduction: GroPod© Space Garden - Growing Beyond Earth

About: Founder and CEO at Heliponix© | Mandela Washington Fellowship Alumni | TEDx Alumni Wabash College | IFT Member

Step 1: Thank You for Joining Our Food Revolution

Our proprietary design has very high yields with low energy consumption. Instead of trying to decide how big our form factor could be scaled, we instead asked ourselves, "what is the smallest this form factor could be condensed into a viable product?". Decentralized technologies have a tendency to scale much wider once their limiting factor has been eliminated. The largest taxi company (uber) does not own a fleet of vehicles, the largest lodging company (AirBNB) owns no chain of buildings, and in our case, the world's largest farm will own no land.

Follow us on Facebook, Instagram, Linkedin, and Twitter!

Growing Beyond Earth Maker Contest

Participated in the
Growing Beyond Earth Maker Contest

Be the First to Share

    Recommendations

    • Fandom Contest

      Fandom Contest
    • DIY Summer Camp Contest

      DIY Summer Camp Contest
    • Water Speed Challenge

      Water Speed Challenge

    6 Comments

    0
    acarp1
    acarp1

    1 year ago

    Great design but...things like gravity feed water pump I don't think will work if there is no apparent gravity to feed the pump.

    0
    ScottyNasty
    ScottyNasty

    Reply 1 year ago

    Thank you for your response. Please note the competition FAQs quoted below.

    Q: Do we need to consider the effects of microgravity in our design?
    A: By the parameters of the contest, no, you do not need to consider the effects of microgravity. Fairchild’s own analog “Veggie” systems use normal plant pots, and use a gravity-reliant water reservoir. However, the consideration of microgravity and its effects on orientation of the plants within the allowed volume may spark some ideas. Any gravity-reliant mechanisms that your design relies on can feasibly be replaced with equivalent mechanisms that use pressure, enclosures, or other means to achieve the same or similar effects. The focus of this contest is on the effective orientation and positioning of plants within the allowed volume.

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Although I agree that it would be important to consider the effects of Gravity, it is not required in this challenge. As mentioned in the answer, there are several ways to replicate the gravitational dependent flow of water in a non-gravitational environment through various means. In regards to the seeds pods, the International space station would likely use a reusable net cup, and have a storage bay of seeds. I would presume they would engineer a method to convert human waste into a fertilizer/growing-media that could be used in the seed pods to sustainably grow without regular shipments of these inputs.
    0
    arthurdent
    arthurdent

    1 year ago

    This is very nice for home use, but... This has to be able to grow in microgravity/zero g and the root spray watering system would only wind up creating free floating water droplets that could get out of the enclosure and possibly short out the electronics.
    The seed pod idea is a good one, but since weight is at a premium a packet of seeds would weigh far less than a single seed pod.
    Otherwise this is a good idea.

    0
    ScottyNasty
    ScottyNasty

    Reply 1 year ago

    Thank you for your response. Please note the competition FAQs quoted below.

    Q: Do we need to consider the effects of microgravity in our design?
    A: By the parameters of the contest, no, you do not need to consider the effects of microgravity. Fairchild’s own analog “Veggie” systems use normal plant pots, and use a gravity-reliant water reservoir. However, the consideration of microgravity and its effects on orientation of the plants within the allowed volume may spark some ideas. Any gravity-reliant mechanisms that your design relies on can feasibly be replaced with equivalent mechanisms that use pressure, enclosures, or other means to achieve the same or similar effects. The focus of this contest is on the effective orientation and positioning of plants within the allowed volume.

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Although I agree that it would be important to consider the effects of Gravity, it is not required in this challenge. As mentioned in the answer, there are several ways to replicate the gravitational dependent flow of water in a non-gravitational environment through various means. In regards to the seeds pods, the International space station would likely use a reusable net cup, and have a storage bay of seeds. I would presume they would engineer a method to convert human waste into a fertilizer/growing-media that could be used in the seed pods to sustainably grow without regular shipments of these inputs.
    0
    arthurdent
    arthurdent

    Reply 1 year ago

    I cede your points. All this is true, and I already know that this is going to be a challenge because nobody has ever tried to grow plants in long term microgravity before. BEFORE it was just experiments to see what happens, not to grow food for the astronauts, and this technology WILL be needed on Mars whenever we can get there: As it turns out Mars soil contains Calcium Perchlorate which is toxic to humans and growing food plants in Martian soil is out of the question. Your system would work, as well as all of the others posted here. It is just a matter of finding which ones are the best.

    0
    ScottyNasty
    ScottyNasty

    Reply 1 year ago

    Couldn't agree more. I personally believe that growing plants in zero gravity will be a limited focus as space transportation vehicles improve, and the focus will transition to low gravity environments on lunar and martian colonies. There have been some studies of plant physiology being greatly affected by zero-gravity environments.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9MfWARdoF-o