Recent advances in technologies required for a "Salad Machine".

NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, CA 94035-1000, USA.
Advances in Space Research (Impact Factor: 1.18). 02/2000; 26(2):263-9. DOI: 10.1016/S0273-1177(99)00570-0
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Future long duration, manned space flight missions will require life support systems that minimize resupply requirements and ultimately approach self-sufficiency in space. Bioregenerative life support systems are a promising approach, but they are far from mature. Early in the development of the NASA Controlled Ecological Life Support System Program, the idea of onboard cultivation of salad-type vegetables for crew consumption was proposed as a first step away from the total reliance on resupply for food in space. Since that time, significant advances in space-based plant growth hardware have occurred, and considerable flight experience has been gained. This paper revisits the "Salad Machine" concept and describes recent developments in subsystem technologies for both plant root and shoot environments that are directly relevant to the development of such a facility.

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