Introduction: NASA Plant Growth Chamber
Our main goal is for Astronauts to be able to feel furnish while being with there spaceflight crew members. Having plants grown in space is very essential for a long duration of missions to be accomplished. Thus plants are an important source for Astronaut’s diets and well-being.
- Pack of seeds
- Water pH Meter
- Thermometer (air / water)
- Ph minus Solution
- Rockwool Block ( horticulture)
- Red LEDS
- Green Leds (Aesthetics)
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Step 1: Main Focus
The purpose will be to enable a way to maximize the plants under the red and blue LED lights. Microgravity plays a role in making sure the plants appear to be weightless in space.
Step 2: Type of Hydroponic Substance
Rather than using soil, we planned on using rockwool to grow the plants in. Rockwool is a popular hydroponic substance (method of growing plants without soil by having mineral nutrients solution) that can be used anywhere for growing crops.
The benefits of using rockwool:
- it absorbs a lot of water, so you don’t always have to worry about watering the plants everyday.
- wouldn’t degrade overtime yield crops at a higher and faster rate has minerals such as limestone and/or granite, which is important of plants as well.
However things you have to account for when using rockwool:
- make sure the pH level isn’t too high. If it is, you would need to soak the rockwool in a ph balance solution for at least an hour.
-Don’t breathe it in if it is new because the dust and fiber particles can be a health hazard
Step 3: Water System
We planned on using a drip watering system to help irrigate the plants. Rather than allowing water to be exposed from the surface of the rockwool, we would put this system underneath the rockwool and on the sides. This way, we will be able to maximize the amount of space in which every drop of water is used towards the plants.
We planned on having multiple tubes coming out of one main pipes so the water distributed comes at the same time. The picture on the right is an image similar to our idea. The difference would be the pipes would be towards the bottom to avoid microgravity effectivity. Since the cube is 50cm x 50cm, we would also put more longer pipe lines so it will distribute water everywhere.
Step 4: 3D Model
So here you see our 3D visual model that we made representing what the final product would look like to where the lights inside would be purple due to the mixture of the blue and red LED lights. Then you see the box on the top of the product where the water will be stored then pushed out of the two main pipes to fall into the first and second layers of seeds for plant growth.
Then to further on this explanation the outsides will have glass doors to track the progress and be able to open the contraption to take out any full grown plants or to fix any sort of issues. Then the back wall is essentially where all the water movement will occur to where it will seep to the first and second layer, as stated earlier, then the rockwool will absorb the water for the plant growth.
Participated in the
Growing Beyond Earth Maker Contest