Clemson Research Could Lead to Space Farming

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Researchers at Clemson University are laying out the research groundwork for deep-space farming as part of a NASA-funded study. Clemson mechanical engineering professor Joshua Summers is working with Freight Farms, a company based in Boston Massachusetts, to complete the study. Summers has assembled a team that will look for ways to make the self-contained farms created by Freight Farms more efficient to supply fresh produce to explorers in the far reaches of deep space. The $125,000 that Clemson and Freight Farms received was among $49.7 million in awards from NASA as part of an initiative aimed at enabling deep space missions. The Freight Farms box, dubbed the “Leafy Green Machine,” requires about 10 gallons of water per day, which is much less than a traditional farm. They can operate in temperatures as low as minus 20 degrees and as high as 120 degrees, Fahrenheit. Summers and his team hope to find ways of capturing the heat generated by LED lights. It could help cool the inside of the farms, and redirecting the heat could generate power for on-board systems.

From the National Association of Farm Broadcasting news service.

Video from: Freight Farms

The Leafy Green Machine, is a complete hydroponic growing system capable of producing a variety of lettuces, herbs and hearty greens. Assembled inside an up-cycled shipping container, the pre-built system includes all necessary components for commercial food production and enables any individual, community or organization to grow fresh produce year-round, no matter their background or climate. Leafy Green Machines can be monitored in real-time from any location and users can purchase growing supplies directly from their mobile devices.