Status Report

ROSBio-2018 Appendix C Released: Development of Microgravity Food Production: Plant Watering, Volume Management, and Novel Plant

By SpaceRef Editor
June 7, 2019
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Solicitation Number: NNH18ZTT001N-PT

Release Date: June 7, 2019

Pre-Proposal Conference: June 25, 2019

Step 1 Proposals Due: July 5, 2019

Step 2 Proposals Due: September 26, 2019


Research Opportunities in Space Biology (ROSBio) – 2018 “Appendix C:  Development of Microgravity Food Production: Plant Watering, Volume Management, and Novel Plant Research on the International Space Station” NNH18ZTT001N-PT


This Space Biology Appendix to ROSBio-2018 represents a collaboration between NASA’s Space Life and Physical Science Research and Applications Division (SLPSRAD) and NASA’s Advanced Exploration Systems (AES). The goal of this collaboration is to solicit research and development (R&D) projects that will lead to the development of a more reliable water and nutrient delivery approach/concept for growing edible pick-and-eat plants for multiple generations in microgravity, that will eventually lead to new hardware.


Through this solicitation, NASA seeks proposals for the integrated research and development of:


1) Edible Plant Water and Nutrient Delivery Systems for Microgravity Spaceflight that will provide sufficiently uniform wetting of the roots, avoid the release of free water, and maintain sufficient aeration and oxygen.


2) Edible Plant Spacing Systems that will optimize the use of plant-growing volume in space. 


NASA anticipates accomplishing its goal of procuring the development of a reliable space-ready plant water and nutrient delivery system in three distinct phases. Phase-A involves key components and experiments, Phase-B includes prototype development and system investigations, and Phase-C involves demonstration on the ISS.


This Appendix is requesting Phase-A proposals only for plant water and nutrient delivery systems, and/or plant spacing systems that can be used in a NASA furnished plant chamber, and may be scaled up to the size of a full rack on the ISS or future spacecraft. Key components for the design should be validated through modeling or performance testing.  Preliminary scientific investigations and experiments to validate the system’s successful operation and ability to support future research studies should be included as appropriate. 


A virtual Pre-proposal conference is scheduled for June 25th 2019, and more details will be posted shortly alongside this solicitation on NSPIRES. 


Appendix C, which was released on June 7, 2019 can be found at by opening the NASA Research Opportunities homepage at and then linking through the menu listings “Solicitations” to “Open Solicitations.”  Step-1 (pre) proposals will be due July 5, 2019 at 5 PM Eastern Time, and invited Step-2 full-length proposals will be due September 26, 2019 at 5 PM Eastern Time. Proposals must be submitted electronically by an authorized official of the proposing organization. Proposers may use either NSPIRES ( or ( for Step-1 proposal submission.  Please see the solicitation for instructions regarding the submission of Step-2 proposals.


All categories of U.S. institutions are eligible to submit proposals in response to this Appendix. Principal Investigators (PIs) and collaborators may be from universities, Federal Government laboratories, the private sector, state and local government laboratories and other countries with the exception of China.


This Appendix will be a broad agency announcement as specified in FAR 6.102 (d)(2). All awards resulting from selections of proposals to this Appendix will be grants or cooperative agreements.

SpaceRef staff editor.