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Space Crops

December 6, 2007

Lighting, heating and recycling technology designed for survival in space could revolutionize how crops are grown here on earth.


Space Crops. I’m Bob Hirshon and this is Science Update.

If we eventually establish colonies on the moon or Mars, they’ll have to be self-sustaining. That means growing plants with super low-energy lights and recycling all organic wastes back into power in a controlled environment. Well, it turns out that technology being developed for life in space could revolutionize food production right here on earth. This according to plant physiologist Cary Mitchell of Purdue University.

CARY MITCHELL (Purdue University):
Controlled environment agriculture here on earth is a coming thing in this 21st century…I think a lot of the recycling principles that we have learned working with NASA over the years can be rather directly applied to ground-based agriculture.

That means eventually we could be seeing blueberries growing in northern latitudes when there’s snow. These methods will not only cut down on fossil fuel use but reduce greenhouse gas emissions as well. I’m Bob Hirshon, for AAAS, the science society.