Thursday, 29 June
Border Labs and ESA are teaming up with enthusiasts in order to build a desktop greenhouse for people to grow and experiment with plants at home and in classrooms, testing potential crops for space. ESA’s Micro-Ecological Life Support System Alternative team, MELiSSA, has been working for over 27 years to create ecosystems for astronauts. They fine-tune how micro-organisms, chemicals, catalysts, algae and plants interact to process waste and deliver unending supplies of oxygen, water and food. Getting the data we need would take centuries, as scientists would need to grow each plant themselves. With the citizen science project AstroPlant, Border Labs and ESA hope to gather relevant data to make local food in space a reality and to raise a new generation of space farmers. Our first real prototype will be unveiled during this session.