Growing fresh food on future space missions

Environmental conditions and crop management

Esther Meinen*, Tom Dueck, Frank Kempkes, Cecilia Stanghellini

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This paper deals with vegetable cultivation that could be faced in a space mission. This paper focusses on optimization, light, temperature and the harvesting process, while other factors concerning cultivation in space missions, i.e. gravity, radiation, were not addressed. It describes the work done in preparation of the deployment of a mobile test facility for vegetable production of fresh food at the Neumayer III Antarctic research station. A selection of vegetable crops was grown under varying light and temperature conditions to quantify crop yield response to climate factors that determine resource requirement of the production system. Crops were grown at 21 °C or 25 °C under light treatments varying from 200 to 600 μmol m−2 s−1 and simulated the dusk and dawn light spectrum. Fresh food biomass was harvested as spread harvesting (lettuce), before and after regrowth (herbs) and at the end of cultivation. Lettuce and red mustard responded well to increasing light intensities, by 35–90% with increasing light from 200 to 600 μmol m−2 s−1, while the other crops responded more variably. However, the quality of the leafy greens often deteriorated at higher light intensities. The fruit biomass of both determinate tomato and cucumber increased by 8–15% from 300 to 600 μmol m−2 s−1. With the increase in biomass, the number of tomato fruits also increased, while the number of cucumber fruits decreased, resulting in heavier individual fruits. Increasing the temperature had varied effects on production. While in some cases the production increased, regrowth of herbs often lagged behind in the 25 °C treatment. In terms of fresh food production, the most can be expected from lettuce, cucumber, radish, then tomato, although the 2 fruit vegetables require a considerable amount of crop management. Spread harvesting had a large influence on the amount of harvested biomass per unit area. In particular, yield of the 3 lettuce cultivars and spinach was ca. 400% than single harvesting. Increasing plant density and applying spread harvesting increased fresh food production. This information will be the basis for determining crop growth recipes and management to maximize the amount of fresh food available, in view of the constraints of space and energy requirement of such a production system.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)270-278
JournalScientia Horticulturae
Volume235
Early online date20 Mar 2018
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 17 May 2018

Fingerprint

raw foods
crop management
lettuce
environmental factors
fruits
cucumbers
biomass
vegetable growing
tomatoes
food production
regrowth
light intensity
herbs
production technology
crops
temperature
green leafy vegetables
vegetable crops
radishes
mustard (condiment)

Keywords

  • Antarctic
  • EDEN ISS
  • LED lighting
  • Resource use efficiency
  • Spread harvesting

Cite this

@article{8780a9298bb24cca969ea7c82f2f5a76,
title = "Growing fresh food on future space missions: Environmental conditions and crop management",
abstract = "This paper deals with vegetable cultivation that could be faced in a space mission. This paper focusses on optimization, light, temperature and the harvesting process, while other factors concerning cultivation in space missions, i.e. gravity, radiation, were not addressed. It describes the work done in preparation of the deployment of a mobile test facility for vegetable production of fresh food at the Neumayer III Antarctic research station. A selection of vegetable crops was grown under varying light and temperature conditions to quantify crop yield response to climate factors that determine resource requirement of the production system. Crops were grown at 21 °C or 25 °C under light treatments varying from 200 to 600 μmol m−2 s−1 and simulated the dusk and dawn light spectrum. Fresh food biomass was harvested as spread harvesting (lettuce), before and after regrowth (herbs) and at the end of cultivation. Lettuce and red mustard responded well to increasing light intensities, by 35–90{\%} with increasing light from 200 to 600 μmol m−2 s−1, while the other crops responded more variably. However, the quality of the leafy greens often deteriorated at higher light intensities. The fruit biomass of both determinate tomato and cucumber increased by 8–15{\%} from 300 to 600 μmol m−2 s−1. With the increase in biomass, the number of tomato fruits also increased, while the number of cucumber fruits decreased, resulting in heavier individual fruits. Increasing the temperature had varied effects on production. While in some cases the production increased, regrowth of herbs often lagged behind in the 25 °C treatment. In terms of fresh food production, the most can be expected from lettuce, cucumber, radish, then tomato, although the 2 fruit vegetables require a considerable amount of crop management. Spread harvesting had a large influence on the amount of harvested biomass per unit area. In particular, yield of the 3 lettuce cultivars and spinach was ca. 400{\%} than single harvesting. Increasing plant density and applying spread harvesting increased fresh food production. This information will be the basis for determining crop growth recipes and management to maximize the amount of fresh food available, in view of the constraints of space and energy requirement of such a production system.",
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Growing fresh food on future space missions : Environmental conditions and crop management. / Meinen, Esther; Dueck, Tom; Kempkes, Frank; Stanghellini, Cecilia.

In: Scientia Horticulturae, Vol. 235, 17.05.2018, p. 270-278.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

TY - JOUR

T1 - Growing fresh food on future space missions

T2 - Environmental conditions and crop management

AU - Meinen, Esther

AU - Dueck, Tom

AU - Kempkes, Frank

AU - Stanghellini, Cecilia

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N2 - This paper deals with vegetable cultivation that could be faced in a space mission. This paper focusses on optimization, light, temperature and the harvesting process, while other factors concerning cultivation in space missions, i.e. gravity, radiation, were not addressed. It describes the work done in preparation of the deployment of a mobile test facility for vegetable production of fresh food at the Neumayer III Antarctic research station. A selection of vegetable crops was grown under varying light and temperature conditions to quantify crop yield response to climate factors that determine resource requirement of the production system. Crops were grown at 21 °C or 25 °C under light treatments varying from 200 to 600 μmol m−2 s−1 and simulated the dusk and dawn light spectrum. Fresh food biomass was harvested as spread harvesting (lettuce), before and after regrowth (herbs) and at the end of cultivation. Lettuce and red mustard responded well to increasing light intensities, by 35–90% with increasing light from 200 to 600 μmol m−2 s−1, while the other crops responded more variably. However, the quality of the leafy greens often deteriorated at higher light intensities. The fruit biomass of both determinate tomato and cucumber increased by 8–15% from 300 to 600 μmol m−2 s−1. With the increase in biomass, the number of tomato fruits also increased, while the number of cucumber fruits decreased, resulting in heavier individual fruits. Increasing the temperature had varied effects on production. While in some cases the production increased, regrowth of herbs often lagged behind in the 25 °C treatment. In terms of fresh food production, the most can be expected from lettuce, cucumber, radish, then tomato, although the 2 fruit vegetables require a considerable amount of crop management. Spread harvesting had a large influence on the amount of harvested biomass per unit area. In particular, yield of the 3 lettuce cultivars and spinach was ca. 400% than single harvesting. Increasing plant density and applying spread harvesting increased fresh food production. This information will be the basis for determining crop growth recipes and management to maximize the amount of fresh food available, in view of the constraints of space and energy requirement of such a production system.

AB - This paper deals with vegetable cultivation that could be faced in a space mission. This paper focusses on optimization, light, temperature and the harvesting process, while other factors concerning cultivation in space missions, i.e. gravity, radiation, were not addressed. It describes the work done in preparation of the deployment of a mobile test facility for vegetable production of fresh food at the Neumayer III Antarctic research station. A selection of vegetable crops was grown under varying light and temperature conditions to quantify crop yield response to climate factors that determine resource requirement of the production system. Crops were grown at 21 °C or 25 °C under light treatments varying from 200 to 600 μmol m−2 s−1 and simulated the dusk and dawn light spectrum. Fresh food biomass was harvested as spread harvesting (lettuce), before and after regrowth (herbs) and at the end of cultivation. Lettuce and red mustard responded well to increasing light intensities, by 35–90% with increasing light from 200 to 600 μmol m−2 s−1, while the other crops responded more variably. However, the quality of the leafy greens often deteriorated at higher light intensities. The fruit biomass of both determinate tomato and cucumber increased by 8–15% from 300 to 600 μmol m−2 s−1. With the increase in biomass, the number of tomato fruits also increased, while the number of cucumber fruits decreased, resulting in heavier individual fruits. Increasing the temperature had varied effects on production. While in some cases the production increased, regrowth of herbs often lagged behind in the 25 °C treatment. In terms of fresh food production, the most can be expected from lettuce, cucumber, radish, then tomato, although the 2 fruit vegetables require a considerable amount of crop management. Spread harvesting had a large influence on the amount of harvested biomass per unit area. In particular, yield of the 3 lettuce cultivars and spinach was ca. 400% than single harvesting. Increasing plant density and applying spread harvesting increased fresh food production. This information will be the basis for determining crop growth recipes and management to maximize the amount of fresh food available, in view of the constraints of space and energy requirement of such a production system.

KW - Antarctic

KW - EDEN ISS

KW - LED lighting

KW - Resource use efficiency

KW - Spread harvesting

U2 - 10.1016/j.scienta.2018.03.002

DO - 10.1016/j.scienta.2018.03.002

M3 - Article

VL - 235

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EP - 278

JO - Scientia Horticulturae

JF - Scientia Horticulturae

SN - 0304-4238

ER -