Status Report

NASA Selects Five Research Projects Designed to Improve Crop Habitats

By SpaceRef Editor
February 20, 2020
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Sustaining Astronauts in Space: NASA Selects Five Research Projects Designed to Improve Crop Habitats

In support of NASA’s goals for human exploration and sustained presence on the Moon and beyond, new spaceflight-based agriculture systems are needed to provide astronauts nutrition through freshly grown crop plants. NASA selected five teams of investigators to develop an improved water/nutrient delivery system and automated plant-spacing approaches for growing multiple generations of crop plants in spaceflight. 


NASA solicited concepts to improve current engineering designs for plant habitats through a collaborative NASA Research Announcement between NASA’s Space Life and Physical Science Research and Applications Division (SLPSRA) and NASA’s Advanced Exploration Systems (AES) entitled “(NNH18ZTT001N-PT) Appendix C: Development of Microgravity Food Production: Plant Watering, Volume Management, and Novel Plant Research on the International Space Station.”


Through a combination of space biology science and engineering, the selected projects will develop, test and verify new concepts for water and nutrient delivery sub-systems. Scientists will also study and test approaches for automatically changing the spacing between the growing plants to enable research in very confined spacecraft environments. These are two key elements for developing plant habitats that are compatible with the microgravity condition of spaceflight and limited available space for crop plant production in spacecraft and lunar surface human habitats. 


The complete announcement of the selected proposals, including principal investigators and organizations, can be found at:


SpaceRef staff editor.