ISS Plant Growing Cylinder

Introduction: ISS Plant Growing Cylinder

I stumbled upon this sight and I had a spark of an idea. I

CONCEPT: O'Neill Scifi Cylinder with Centered Dyson Sphere Scifi Interior Light Source

This is a submission for the "Growing Beyond Earth" challenge in the professional category. I submitted myself in this category because I have a degree in Education. I teach Kindergarten.

Project Constraints:

Placement on International Space Station (ISS)

Project Physical Dimension of 50cmx50cmx50cm box


Required features for plant growth: light, nutrients, water, space, air, temperature

Product to be grown ‘Outredgeous’ Red Romaine lettuce. 28 days of growth, 15cm x 15cm x 15cm leaf growing area, 6cm x 6cm x 6cm root growing area

Growth Cylinder

The Growth Cylinder is 48 cm long with a diameter of 48 cm. The circumference is 150.79 cm. This provides an approximate internal growing area (interior walls) of 7200 cm sq. Each end of the cylinder has a 5 cm ‘ring’ attached to the edge to provide a trough effect. The cylinder is secured with the 50cmx50cmx50cm by the use of 8 wheels at each of the vertexes. Two of the wheels will provide tension (pressure) against the other 6 wheels. These 2 wheels will also be attached to a motor that will ‘spin’ the cylinder at approximately 20 rpm producing a centrifugal acceleration of approximately 1.05 m/s2 or about 1/10th of Earth’s gravitational force.


Dyson Sphere inspired Light System is an LED grow light (48cm long x 4cm diameter) that is center mounted on the backside of the 50cm cube. The growth cylinder is placed around the light source and 'locked in".The placement of the growth cylinder and the light source will provide approximately 15 cm of space between the plant ‘pillow’ and the light source.

Growing Tray & Growth Medium

The growing cylinder will contain 3 growing trays. The growing tray consists of 9 plant growing areas and a water container. Each Plant growing area is 15 cm x 15 cm. The water container is attached to each plant growing area by tubing that will provide water and nutrient solution through ‘slow drip’ irrigation from the 1/10th gravity provide by centrifugal force. I did not get a chance to look into what type of growth medium to use.

Growth Modeling

Each growing tray will stagger 3 plants 9 days apart. This will allow for a more continuous harvest of lettuce and a more efficient use of space. Nine plants will collected every 9 days.

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