Collaborative Development of a Space Flight Experiment Comparing Two Plant Nutrient Delivery Systems 2000-01-2509
Engineers and scientists from BioServe Space Technologies and Kennedy Space Center (KSC) are developing a flight-rated payload for the evaluation of two space-based plant nutrient delivery systems (NDS's). The hardware is comprised of BioServe's Plant Generic Bioprocessing Apparatus (PGBA) and KSC's Porous Tube Insert Module (PTIM). The PGBA, a double-middeck locker, will serve as the host carrier for the PTIM and will provide computer control of temperature, relative humidity, and carbon dioxide levels. The PTIM will insert into the PGBA's growth chamber and will facilitate the side-by-side comparison of the two NDS's: 1) the porous tube NDS, consisting of six porous tubes with seeds mounted in close proximity to the tubes, and 2) a substrate-based NDS, with three compartments each containing a porous tube embedded in a particulate substrate. This project demonstrates that through collaborative efforts, new hardware costs can be reduced while simultaneously minimizing risk through the use of flight-experienced systems.