Crop production in space as a way to improve the environment of astronauts


A number of states announces about their plans for the deep space exploration, in particular, on creation of circumlunar inhabited satellites and surface luna bases. One of the most important conditions for the implementation of the long-term manned space expeditions is the creation of the new generation of life support systems, including space greenhouses. Space greenhouses can improve astronaut habitat by enriching the crew diet with fresh vegetables with well-balanced biochemical composition, rich in easily digestible vitamins, antioxidants and dietary fiber. Important factors are the emotional and psychological support at the interaction of crew members with plants and the regeneration of the air inside the habitable volume by the autotrophic organism absorption of carbon dioxide released by the human when breathing, and oxygen release during photosynthesis. The review is given in the article concerning the number of modern current and developing space greenhouses, including the Vitacycle-T, cylindrical space greenhouse developed at the Institute for Biomedical Problems of the Russian Academy of Sciences. The need is indicated for the development of sanitary and hygienic norms for spacecraft compartments, including greenhouses, with a flight duration of more than 1–2 years in addition to the requirements of GOST R 50804—95. In order to use space greenhouses in distant space expeditions, including the Moon and Mars, it is required to intensify ground-based studies of the deep space environmental factors influence on the plants, including increased radiation and hypomagnetic conditions.

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DOI: 10.24000/0409-2961-2019-6-22-29
Year: 2019
Issue num: June
Keywords : deep space life support system space greenhouse astronaut diet vitamins psycho-physiological support space radiation hypomagnetic environment
  • Berkovich Yu.A.
    Dr. Sci. (Eng.), Prof., Lead Researcher, The Russian Federation State Research Center — Institute of Biomedical Problems of the Russian Academy of Sciences (IMBP RAS), Moscow, Russia
  • Smolyanina S.O.
    Cand. Sci. (Biol.), Senior Research Assistant The Russian Federation State Research Center — Institute of Biomedical Problems of the Russian Academy of Sciences (IMBP RAS), Moscow, Russia
  • Konovalova I.O.
    Cand. Sci. (Biol.), Junior Researcher The Russian Federation State Research Center — Institute of Biomedical Problems of the Russian Academy of Sciences (IMBP RAS), Moscow, Russia
  • Krivobok A.S.
    Cand. Sci. (Biol.), Researcher The Russian Federation State Research Center — Institute of Biomedical Problems of the Russian Academy of Sciences (IMBP RAS), Moscow, Russia