Space farming


See a prototype of the space station's Advanced Plant Habitat.


NASA / Bill White

A high fidelity test version of NASA’s Advanced Plant Habitat (APH), the largest plant chamber built for the agency, arrived at Kennedy Space Center in Florida this month.

The engineering development unit arrived by truck, was offloaded and transported to a laboratory at the Space Station Processing Facility. Inside the lab, engineers, scientists and technicians will train with the test unit to learn how to handle and assemble it before the actual APH unit arrives early next year. They also will test how the science integrates with the various systems of the plant habitat.

The unit is a closed-loop system with a controlled environment than can house large plants. The system will use red, green and blue LED lights, similar to the Veggie growth system that is currently on the International Space Station.

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