Growth chambers on the International Space Station for large plants
The International Space Station (ISS) now has platforms for conducting research on horticultural plant species under LED lighting, and those capabilities continue to expand. The LSQUOVeggieRSQUO vegetable production system was deployed to the ISS as an applied research platform for food production in space. Veggie is capable of growing a wide array of horticultural crops. It was designed for low power usage, low launch mass and stowage volume, and minimal crew time requirements. The Veggie flight hardware consists of a light cap containing red (630 nm), blue, (455 nm) and green (530 nm) LEDs. Interfacing with the light cap is an extendable bellows/baseplate for enclosing the plant canopy. A second large plant growth chamber, the Advanced Plant Habitat (APH), will fly to the ISS in 2017. APH will be a fully controllable environment for high-quality plant physiological research. APH will control light (quality, level, and timing), temperature, CO2, relative humidity, and irrigation, while scrubbing any cabin or plant-derived ethylene and other volatile organic compounds. Additional capabilities include sensing of leaf temperature and root zone moisture, root zone temperature, and oxygen concentration. The light cap will have red (630 nm), blue (450 nm), green (525 nm), far red (730 nm) and broad spectrum white LEDs (4100 K). There will be several internal cameras (visible and IR) to monitor and record plant growth and operations. Veggie and APH are available for research proposals.
Massa, G.D., Wheeler, R.M., Morrow, R.C. and Levine, H.G. (2016). Growth chambers on the International Space Station for large plants. Acta Hortic. 1134, 215-222