|Aeroponics Systems and NASA|
|The only challenge that bothers astronauts is the adequate food supply for them into the space. The precise way space programs provide food to astronauts is to abundance maximum food that is required for the continuance of the mission. However, this isn’t applicable for long continued missions, such as space flights, which takes astronauts to another planet. Eating canned food doesn’t accord astronauts acceptable diet in the long run. For these reasons, NASA has been looking forward in researching the effects of no-gravity on vegetables.
Plants were previously taken into space aboard the Sputnik 4 and the Discovery 17 in 1960. The astronauts had taken several vegetables, including onions, corn, and peas. Throughout the history of space travel, both the American and Soviet space programs performed research and development to analyze the activity of feasibility of growing plants in space. Their analysis concluded that this kind of ambiance highly affects nutrients uptake. For example, they realized that no gravity can increase the absorption of phosphorus, but it decreases the absorption of magnesium, zinc, and iron.
In the end of 1990′s, NASA began testing aeroponics systems as an accessible method of growing fruits and vegetables in space. In 1996, NASA began investing in the analysis of Richard Stoner, the man who originally patented the microchip that initially fabricated the automated watering of aeroponically developed plants possible. At the time, he was busy researching on a way to cultivate plants aeroponically without pesticides that are sometimes all-important to reduce harmful microorganisms through application of liquid biocontrol. A year later, NASA was assuming its own tests for biocontrol. Tests were conducted on growth cycle on the MIR space Station, the Kennedy space Center, and Colorado State University.
In 1998, Stoner started using NASA funding to further an aeroponics plant-growing systems that could be utilized in space. In no gravity, there were no acceptable hydroponics systems to supply plants with damp and nutrition. Additionally, it is difficult to grow food in space because there is a little allowance to accumulate water, fertilizer, media and other essential systems supplies. Stoner was able to show that aeroponics is a reliable way to solve these problems and grow advantageous vegetables aboard a spacecraft. Because aeroponics makes highly efficient use of water, little has to be used and stored. And because aeroponics requires no growing medium, none needs to be taken on a space mission.
In 1999, Stoner, again using NASA’s funds, created an inflatable aeroponic growing system that could be used to properly cultivate vegetables and fruits either on Earth or space. The system in absolutely self-contained and the inflatability of the assemblage means that it can simply be deflated and stored in a little space when not in use.
NASA has further concluded that aeroponics systems may be an essential part of space missions in future. The surface of the moon that is said to commence construction in 2020 will mostly use aeroponics to grow their own fruits and vegetables. It has been said that astronauts would likely reply on the boarded aeroponics system to efficiently grow vegetables, during their mission to Mars!
Updated: March 7, 2011 at 9:27 am