Feature

Vegetable Production System
06.11.13
 
 

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Facility Summary

This content was provided by Thomas M. Crabb, and is maintained in a database by the ISS Program Science Office.

Brief Summary

The Vegetable Production System (Veggie) is a deployable plant growth unit capable of producing salad-type crops to provide the crew with a palatable, nutritious, and safe source of fresh food and a tool to support relaxation and recreation. The Veggie provides lighting and nutrient delivery, but utilizes the cabin environment for temperature control and as a source of carbon dioxide to promote growth.

Facility Manager(s)

  • Thomas M. Crabb, Orbital Technologies Corporation, Madison, WI, United States
  • Facility Representative(s)

    Information Pending

    Developer(s)

    Orbital Technologies Corporation, Madison, WI, United States

    Sponsoring Space Agency

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)

    Sponsoring Organization

    Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate (HEOMD)

    ISS Expedition Duration

    March 2013 - September 2014

    Expeditions Assigned

    35/36,37/38,39/40

    Previous ISS Missions

    Biomass Production System (BPS), the precursor to Veggie, was utilized on ISS Expedtion 4.

    Availability

  • Onboard
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    Facility Overview

    • The Vegetable Production System (Veggie) is a low power, light and life support system for growing plants in microgravity.


    • The hardware provides user friendly production of edible plants.
    With the advent of long-duration space laboratories such as Mir and the International Space Station (ISS) it has become clear that more emphasis needs to be placed on improving the human habitability of these environments. The Vegetable Production System (Veggie) provides a means to supply crews with a continuous source of fresh food and a tool for relaxation and recreation. Veggie will study crop productivity, air and water revitalization with reduced logistical and operational resources compared to other plant growth systems.

    Veggie weighs 7.2 kg and requires 115 Watts of power. While stowed Veggie requires 0.02 m3 and deployed it requires 0.11 m3 of space. Veggie has a growing area of 0.16 m2 with a maximum growth height of 45 cm. The hardware is cooled with cabin or avionics air. The Veggie light sources are red (640 nm) 300 micromole/m2/s, green (540 nm) 30 micromole/m2/s and blue (440 nm) 50 micromole/m2/s. Veggie is initially removed from stowage and deployed. The Veggie may be placed in the aisle with Velcro or another appropriate attachment method, or it may be mounted in a Middeck Locker or EXPRESS Rack. If mounting to a Locker or Rack, an adapter mounting plate may be desired to more rigidly hold the Veggie in position. If avionics air cooling of the electronics is desired, the adapter tubing must be attached to Veggie electronics cooling air inlet and outlet. The power cable is plugged into the front panel of the Veggie. A root mat and seed plugs are removed from stowage, and the seed plugs are installed into the root mat. The root mat is installed into the Veggie bellows and water is added. Power is applied to the Veggie and lighting levels (day/night cycle options) and the height of the bellows enclosure is adjusted as desired. Fans and ventilation holes in the Veggie growth volume provide fresh air to the germinating plants. Built-in irises over the fans can be adjusted to modify air flow rate through the growth chamber volume. As the plants grow, Veggie will require some maintenance, including checking water in the root mat and adding moe as necessary, expanding the bellows to increase the height of the growth volume, and adjusting air flow through the growth volume. When the plants reach maturity, the edible portions of the plants are removed, cleaned and eaten (if desired). The remaining inedible biomass is disposed of. If the root mat can be reused, more seed plugs can be removed from storage and installed into the root mat, and the process can begin again.

    Operations

    Facility Operations

    • Veggie is deployed in the aisle or in an EXpedite the PRocessing of Experiments to Space Station (EXPRESS) Rack.


    • The seed plugs are installed into a root mat, which is installed into the Veggie bellows.


    • Power is applied and water is added to the root mat to begin seed germination. Water and growth height is maintained throughout the plant growth cycle until the vegetables are harvested and and the growth cycle can be restarted.

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    Results/More Information

    Information Pending

    Results Publications

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    Ground Based Results Publications

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    ISS Patents

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    Related Publications

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    Related Websites
  • Orbitec
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    Imagery

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