July 20, 2024

The Queens County Citizen

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A vegetable garden on the moon?

A vegetable garden on the moon?

The French Center for Space Studies (CNES) wants to develop agricultural technology on the moon, to ensure the food autonomy brought by the astronauts to settle permanently on this hostile soil, he announced on Thursday.

Future long-distance human missions, to the Moon and Mars, “force us to project ourselves and consider a new model of full autonomy”, announced to AFP Alexis Pilot, head of the CNES Spaceship FR project, which explores different space technologies in partnership. with the Terre Nova program of the European Space Agency (ESA).

Currently, aboard the International Space Station (ISS), “astronauts’ food consists mainly of freeze-dried meals and dishes reheated by cargo ship from Earth”, 400 km away, the French space agency stressed in a press release. .

According to CNES, this supply system is not feasible for more distant missions, “growing food for human exploration is essential”.

During the Bourget Air Show near Paris, he presented technology that could provide “sustainable and healthy food” for those on a lunar base or a Martian base from 2035.

It is a spiral structure that acts as a top support for plant seeds, as the lunar soil is infertile, explains Maylis Radonde, director of product development at Timac Agro, a specialist in fertilizers and animal nutrition, chosen by CNES for this project.

This “spire”, which “condenses several meters of roots into a few centimeters”, is made up of lunar soil (regolith) and biosourced materials (mainly organic waste).

It can be manufactured on site via 3D printing, also works with regolith and is recyclable and biodegradable.

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The system “uses 30 times less water and 100 times less energy than a traditional culture system,” promises Melis Radonde.

According to Timac Agro, a portion of the seed stock brought from the land is kept for breeding.

Located in Saint-Malo (North-West), this subsidiary of the Roullier group has been questioned by many residents who blame it on air pollution caused by emissions from its animal feed factory.

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