NASA has long been experimenting with sustainable living in space, but the most important question is how to grow crops to sustain human life while away from Earth. Now, NASA scientists and agriculture researchers have designed an inflatable greenhouse prototype that can grow greens deep in space. The 18 by 7-foot greenhouse is not only used to grow food, but it can help with air revitalization, water recycling, and waste recycling. The carbon dioxide exhaled by astronauts can be used by the plants to photosynthesize and generate oxygen.
According to Dr. Gene Giacomelli, director of the controlled environment agriculture center at the University of Arizona, “We’re mimicking what the plants would have if they were on Earth, and using of these processes for life support. the entire system of the lunar greenhouse does represent, in a small way, the biological systems that are here on Earth.”