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Technical Paper

Plant Growth and Plant Environmental Monitoring Equipment on the Mir Space Station: Experience and Data from the Greenhouse II Experiment

A three country effort (U.S., Russia, and Bulgaria) has upgraded the plant growth facilities on the Mir Space Station and used the new facility to grow wheat for 90 days. The Svet plant-growth facility was reactivated and used in an initial experiment as part of the Shuttle/Mir program, August to November, 1995. The Svet system, used first to grow cabbage and radish during a 1990 experiment, was augmented by the addition of a U.S. developed Gas Exchange Measurement System (GEMS) that measures a range of environmental parameters plus transpiration, photosynthesis, and possibly respiration. Environmental parameters include cabin, chamber, root-zones, and leaf temperatures. Light levels, relative humidity, oxygen, and atmospheric pressure are also measured. High-accuracy water-vapor and carbon-dioxide concentrations and differences are measured using specially developed IRGA systems.
Technical Paper

Options for Transpiration Water Removal in a Crop Growth System Under Zero Gravity Conditions

The operation of a crop growth system in micro-gravity is an important part of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration's Closed Ecological Life Support System development program. Maintaining densely arrayed plants in a closed environment imposed to induce high growth rates must be expected to result in substantial levels of water transpiration rate. Since the environmental air is recirculated, the transpiration water must be removed. In an operating CELSS, it is expected that this water will provide potable water for use of the crew. There is already considerable knowledge about water removal from crew environmental air during orbital and transfer activities, and the difference between the conditions of the described requirement and the conditions for which experience has been gained is the quantities involved and the reliability implications due to the required periods of operation.