Technology Base for Microgracity Horticulture 871436
Advanced microgravity plant biology research and life support system development for the spacecraft environment are critically hampered by the lack of a technology base. This inadequacy stems primarily from the fact that microgravity results in a lack of convective currents and phase separation as compared to the one gravity environment. A program plan is being Initiated to develop this technology base. This program will provide an iterative flight development effort that will be closely integrated with both basic science investigations and advanced life support system development efforts incorporating biological processes. The critical considerations include optimum illumination methods, root aeration, root and shoot support, and heat rejection and gas exchange in the plant canopy.