China talking with European Space Agency about moon outpost

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The prototype greenhouse housed at the University of Arizona's Controlled Environment Agriculture Center.

Astronaut Peggy Whitson with the Veggie facility on board the ISS. But when going farther away from our blue cradle, crews will have to rely on on-site resources for food and oxygen. The bioregenerative life support system involves a deployable and inflatable greenhouse that can support the production of plants and crops for air revitalization, nutrition, waste recycling, and water recycling.

"We're working with a team of scientists, engineers and small businesses at the University of Arizona to develop a closed-loop system", said Dr. The Prototype Lunar/Mars Greenhouse project would allow astronauts on deep space missions access to healthy, fresh food year-round.

"The approach uses plants to scrub carbon dioxide while providing food and oxygen", Ray Wheeler of NASA said in a statement. The model modules, a long barrel measuring 18 feet long and 7 feet in the distance across, are meant to assist make a fake environment with plants encouraging off the carbon dioxide breathed out by space travelers and space travelers taking in the oxygen from the plants.

The prototype has a shape of a cylindrical structure with the length of about five and a half meters and a diameter of two and a half meters, built by Sadler Machine companies. Greenhouses are also created to play a role in the recycling of water and disposal of waste in a process known as "bioregeneration life support system". The plants will also consume the carbon dioxide produced by astronauts on manned missions. The water cycle will start with water that is brought along to the landing site or found at the lunar or Martian terrain. Water that is either brought along on missions or gathered in situ-on the moon or at Mars for example-is enriched with nutrient salts, and flows continuously through plant root systems. Giacomelli added that they will also develop computer models to simulate the work they're doing, to automatically control the environment and provide a stable level of oxygen. Research is still ongoing to determine which plants, seeds, and other materials would be most suitable for use on the moon or Mars.

"The entire system of the lunar greenhouse does represent, in a small way, the biological systems that are here on Earth", Wheeler said. Once arrive at an outer space world, the inflatable greenhouse will buried under surface soil or regolith for protecting it from radiation.

Nasa is also testing the viability of hybrid crops in both natural and artificial lighting.

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