Introduction: Multi-Level Space Growing Chamber (High School Entry)
This is the Nova Classical Academy Stargazing Club High School entry for the Growing in Space Competition. Our box makes effective use of 3-dimensional space by including 2 layers where plants of different types can grow. The top layer will include a light to facilitate photosynthesis and a plant such as spinach or lettuce. Below the dirt will be a fine mesh layer that allows some moisture to escape to the lower level which will include mushrooms that do not need the direct light and only residual moisture. The combination of plants offers a diverse selection of food for the astronauts aboard a space station. Mushrooms are a renewable alternative to having meat on board.
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Step 1: Watering System
The watering system will be water tanks that are refillable from the top. They will spray water on a timer to supply the plants with water. The water solution will also include nutrients to feed the plants, as the soil will lose fertility after time. Four sprayers will make sure every plant gets water and nutrients evenly. There will be a small gap along the side of the box so that some moisture more easily gets to the lower levels, as there will need to be a clear path as well as the fine mesh layer to effectively reach the mushrooms in zero gravity.
Step 2: Upper-Level Plants
The top-level will include more "active" plants. This means the plants will need more direct light and watering than the lower level plants. These plants will be foods like spinach that have a wide variety of nutrients that astronauts will need. The plants will be harvested by a tray that will slide out for easier access.
Step 3: Lower-Level Plants
The lower-level plants will be mushrooms that need less direct watering and little light. They will provide a different set of textures and nutrients from the top-level plants. This variety of foods will keep astronaut morale high and increase nutrient variety. These plants will be harvested the same way as the top-level plants by a sliding tray for easy access.
Participated in the
Growing Beyond Earth Maker Contest