Is this project an undergraduate, graduate, or faculty project?

Undergraduate

group

Authors' Class Standing

Deanna DeMattio, Junior Hannah Skeen, Junior

Lead Presenter's Name

Deanna DeMattio

Faculty Mentor Name

Rafael Rodriguez

Abstract

This report considers the challenges NASA and SpaceX will face in the approaching two decades when sending astronauts on missions to Mars. We will evaluate multiple hydroponics systems within a greenhouse to grow Goji Berries, Moringa, Bamboo, Kale, Chia, and Sweet Potatoes. When these foods are combined they contain a complete necessary set of amino acids, vitamins, minerals, fiber, carbohydrates, and nutrients for a balanced human diet. The greenhouse will be powered solely through solar panels and the plants will be receive the same solar irradiance they would on the surface of Mars. Furthermore, the light intensity in the greenhouse will be kept at approximately 590 W/m^2. This simulates an ambient light collection and reflection system on Mars, illuminating an insulated outdoor system for agriculture. The system will be self-sufficient due to the solar generators which receive the same sunlight that the plants will utilize. The utilization of a hydroponics system allows for a more effective method of growing super foods in abstract environments. The primary focus on lighting conditions is stemmed from the fact that light is the main factor in the growth of plants, and the necessity to use natural light on Mars as opposed to artificial light. In conclusion, the report states that NASA and alike companies will obtain valuable stepping stones in future missions to Mars by maximizing the growth of super foods with utilization of natural light, and a focus on a hydroponics system as the primary farming method for space.

Did this research project receive funding support (Spark or Ignite Grants) from the Office of Undergraduate Research?

Yes, Ignite Grant

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The Growth of Super Foods for Mars

This report considers the challenges NASA and SpaceX will face in the approaching two decades when sending astronauts on missions to Mars. We will evaluate multiple hydroponics systems within a greenhouse to grow Goji Berries, Moringa, Bamboo, Kale, Chia, and Sweet Potatoes. When these foods are combined they contain a complete necessary set of amino acids, vitamins, minerals, fiber, carbohydrates, and nutrients for a balanced human diet. The greenhouse will be powered solely through solar panels and the plants will be receive the same solar irradiance they would on the surface of Mars. Furthermore, the light intensity in the greenhouse will be kept at approximately 590 W/m^2. This simulates an ambient light collection and reflection system on Mars, illuminating an insulated outdoor system for agriculture. The system will be self-sufficient due to the solar generators which receive the same sunlight that the plants will utilize. The utilization of a hydroponics system allows for a more effective method of growing super foods in abstract environments. The primary focus on lighting conditions is stemmed from the fact that light is the main factor in the growth of plants, and the necessity to use natural light on Mars as opposed to artificial light. In conclusion, the report states that NASA and alike companies will obtain valuable stepping stones in future missions to Mars by maximizing the growth of super foods with utilization of natural light, and a focus on a hydroponics system as the primary farming method for space.