A short documentary explores how technology turns waste into resources to sustain astronauts could be the key to sustainable food production here on Earth.
The human population is projected to be 9.6 billion by 2050, according to the United Nations’ Department of Economic and Social Affairs. The demand for food will be 70 percent higher than it is now. How can Earth’s finite resources support this?
We made this film because we were fascinated to learn how scientists believe that technology represented by the lunar greenhouse may play a part in meeting Earth’s food demand while minimizing additional burdens on the natural environment.
The lunar greenhouse is a collapsible hydroponic growth chamber with automated light and nutrient cycles. This computer-controlled, autonomous system mimics what plants would expect to have on Earth. Astronauts exhale carbon dioxide, which the plants take up and transform into biomass as they grow in the lighted environment. The oxygen they produce in the process is returned to the astronauts to breathe. Water transpired by the plants is collected from the humid air, which can be used as potable water for the crew.
Contributed to NASA receiving phase three funding.
Led to grassroots international showings.
From Arizona to Italy to the moon.
Gene Giacomelli, The University of Arizona
The University of Arizona
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