Astronauts will soon be able to grow edible plants in space greenhouses developed by Russian scientists, Yuliy Berkovich, Leading Research Fellow at the RAS Institute of Biomedical Problems, said at the ‘Agro-space program and the latest developments in Russia’s agrochemical sector’ roundtable discussion at RIA Novosti.
“All industrialized countries have declared ambitions for the colonization of the Moon, and then of Mars. Roscosmos also mentioned in its program that Russia should make first piloted flights to the Moon and establish an orbital base there by 2035,” the expert said.
According to him, piloted flights require a crew life support system capable of providing astronauts with food for a long time.
“The system needs to include devices for growing plants. They will become indispensable companions for astronauts on long flights,” Berkovich said.
He added that prototypes have already been made for space greenhouses, which can be installed on board a spacecraft or the ISS – among them are a phytocontainer, a hemisphere, and the Phytocycle greenhouse.
Other countries are also working on space greenhouse projects. American scientists have developed large greenhouse projects for the lunar base. The German Aerospace Center has also created a lunar greenhouse prototype for a crew of six people. China has a Lunar palace project with a capacity to supply 80% of the astronauts’ diet.