NASA needs your help: Do you know how to grow plants in space?

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Do you know how to maintain a family-sized garden without unlimited soil, natural sunlight and Earth's gravity? If the answer is yes, then call NASA.

The Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden in Miami in partnership with NASA is calling all "makers" to participate in its "Growing Beyond Earth Maker Contest." The challenge is to reinvent the systems used to grow on the International Space Station and beyond.

Fairchild and NASA began their partnership in 2015 to find more ways to sustain plant life in . Last summer, the received a nearly $750,000 grant from NASA to support its Growing Beyond Earth Innovation Studio, a community work space dedicated to the technology of growing food.

As NASA looks to sustain human life in space, it faces the challenge of long-term food production. The Maker Contest hopes to find a new method to create a "3-D growing space" aboard spacecrafts, to maintain the plants without , and to design a robotic, automated planting and harvesting system.

For those of you who don't know what a "maker" is, it's a word used to describe those who enjoy using electronics to invent new or reinvent old things.

So the Maker Contest is open to anyone who professionally or self-identifies as such. That means you can have an interest in biospace, engineering, agriculture or even manufacturing to enter.

The contest will be divided into three categories—professional, college and high school teams—with a winner selected from each group.

In the first phase, contestants must enter and submit designs by Feb. 3, 2020. The judges, which are NASA engineers and botanists, will select 15 teams will move onto the second phase and be awarded $500 to support prototyping and testing of their design.

The winners of each category will receive a stipend to attend the 2020 Nation of Makers annual conference and be considered for implementation on future NASA missions.

To find more information or enter the contest, visit www.instructables.com/contest/beyondEarth .


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Jun 28, 2019
The Maker Contest hopes to find a new method to create a "3-D growing space" aboard spacecrafts, to maintain the plants without human intervention, and to design a robotic, automated planting and harvesting system.


Ideally, in a zero g environment you would want to find a way to combine and morph together aero and aquaponics. This is so you can grow vegetables, fruits, and fish in one enclosed dualistic system, a dualistic system that would be monitored and kept by AI robotic systems. I look forward to seeing what the contestants come up with. And if anyone likes botany experiments I highly suggest watching Jeb's youtube channel.

https://www.youtu...No_KnU0A

Jun 28, 2019
"can grow vegetables, fruits, and fish"

I'm forgetting arthropods too, such as shrimp, crabs, and lobsters

Jun 29, 2019
neato... on the Earth's surface
with lots of available resources including enough stored food to survive when your crops fail.

a common complaint is against the expenses occured developing a toilet system that will work in outer space.

even while flying upside down, yawing & pitching accelerating backwards with tumbling torque.

without a explosively smelly breakdown.
resulting in piss & shit spraying across all your expensive equipment.

that those "over-priced" toilets also have to repairable while you are flying upside down, yawing & pitching accelerating backwards with tumbling torque

so... if i wanted to gain the contract to manufacture a space-going aquaculture system?

i'd suggest having a team of experienced engineers & engineering students
go through all the previous flying toilet studies & reports
of what proved workable
to be reversed engineered
for this specific endeavor.

Jun 29, 2019
the accumulation of wastes such as human feces, uneaten fish and crustacean body parts, plant overgrowth and deceased plants, should all be recycled back into the system. So yes, anyone knowledgeable in waste utilities would be helpful. With the waste you can create detritus or plankton food with it and farm swarms of plankton, which in turn are fed to farms of arthropods, which in turn are fed to farms of fish.

Jun 29, 2019
oh yes!
the ancient Cloaca of Rome was famous for producing fish of such delicacy as to be in high demand by Roman gourmands.

well, you get what you are willing to pay for!

yeah, celebrities were as stupid back then, as they are today...

Jun 29, 2019
I'm guessing you have disgust for the idea of recycled waste? or no?

Rest assured, a fully realized and AI monitored plant and seafood farm, built for space ships, towed stations, or mobile stations, would be a far cleaner affair than your local McDonalds. All the spaces would be compartmentalized and loaded with sensors. It would be one big self-cleaning, self-operating package.

Jun 29, 2019
ren, i think you are advocating for valuable possibilities

i am amused by scatological humor but don't go expecting vocal public enthusiasm for the subject.

in addition to all the other technical specialties for spacecraft & spacehabitat personnel?
we are going to need to train an equal number of generalists for inboard maintenance,
environmental operations
& all the other support services that are basically considered dead-end jobs,

Won't get their own comicbook or ne offered any movie deals!

they used to be called Ship's Carpenter. today, they are called an Artificer.
training academies to provide skilled hands for the world's Navies & commercial shipping.

Considering all the different skills needed for Space travel? You should be pressuring your congresscritter to take the initiative to get a training facility in their district.
right now!
per this article?
you have insanely expensive to train astronauts & scientists as station charwoman?

Jun 29, 2019
These are necessary skills for a race that intends to become starfaring, or for that matter planetfaring in our own Solar System.

Increasingly it appears that we're going to decimate our environment, so they may well be valuable skills even here on the planet Earth.

I've seen two articles here on physorg in the last couple of weeks that are important in this regard: vat meat and edible insects. Vat meat I've never tried; but I have eaten honey-coated bees and chocolate covered grasshoppers. My hosts were surprised; most Americans won't eat them. I wouldn't have either if they were alive.

Chimpanzees love a fresh log to tear apart to get at the grubs. If it's good enough for them I figure it's good enough for us.

Still and all, first we gotta grow plants. And fish. That's the minimal starting point; now your astronauts don't starve to death. And don't forget oxygen, generated by green plants. We need to know how to make closed ecologies.

Jun 30, 2019
NASA Weightless Garden

As now
We know fungal spores vital to this spacegardens success
Grow on the outer walls of this spacegarden
And what is more thrive in these lethal temperate growing conditions
Even before this first spacegarden seedling is sown things are looking up
Fore as these fungal spore receive their leathal dose
it is time to transplant these fungal spores
Of this spacestations wall and plant them in this spacegarden
Along with these oak and ash these fungal spores thrive
for the bluebells that light up these English spring woodlands
are all part of these fungal spores
That
Now
100s of miles in orbit
Exposed to this lethal solar radiation thrive
It is simplistically easy to transplant these woodland plants
For once their seeds are sown
In this spacegarden
Nature will provide the rest
As the bird's, insect's and bees will eat, plant and pollinate these seeds
To make a Forest

For Nature is this Green Fingered Gardener

Jul 02, 2019
in addition to all the other technical specialties for spacecraft & spacehabitat personnel?
we are going to need to train an equal number of generalists for inboard maintenance,
environmental operations
& all the other support services that are basically considered dead-end jobs,


The better idea is that in the future, spaceships, towed stations, and mobile stations would be equipped with advanced onboard self-diagnosing, self-repairing, self-operating, fail-safe AI systems that even 1 child could run the entire structure through intuitive touch screen, hologram projection, and voice command communication without destroying it.

IOW, you don't need cranky Smee's crawling through access vents all the time with their tools falling off their velcro holders to keep the place up.

Jul 02, 2019
The science fiction tropes established by Star Trek, Star Wars, and others were really inspiring 50 years ago. But in 2019, when we really do have level 4 AI's built into cars, home 3D printers, and a myriad of networking options, one can imagine a smarter space station and ship. One that you would simply talk to in order for it to be put to task. That isn't to say engineers won't be needed. But that their resume application requirements will be altered. In the future, computer programming (IT) will be the primary skillset. Everything else will be secondary and considered a specialization.

Jul 04, 2019
Finally, the flaw is spotted

Renfield2468
IOW, you don't need cranky Smee's crawling through access vents all the time with their tools falling off their velcro holders to keep the place up

It makes gripping star ship blockbusters
Where there down to their last dilithium crystal
So they have to crawl through miles of wiring ducting
Then a space walk
On the outside of the ship
To switch on the emergency power supply
To save the ship and all its inhabitants

Renfield2468 have you ever attempted fixing apparently simple faults in cars
As now they are all electronically controlled
Even changing a spark plug is problematic

One day, Renfield2468
Your descendants will be crawling down that ventilation duct, spanner in hand stuck to Velcro
In his shirt sleeves clinging on for dear life on his space walk to reach that mains switch
For some unknown reason has to be outside precariously placed

Its Murphy 's Law, it has to be this way as there is no other way

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