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From Project Mercury to the Breadboard Project

EasyChair Preprint no. 905

13 pagesDate: April 16, 2019


NASA’s Project Mercury began as a response to the cold war with the Soviet Union and had a number of goals: to place a manned spacecraft in orbital flight around the earth; to investigate man's performance capabilities and his ability to function in the environment of space and to recover the man and the spacecraft safely. An aspect of preflight testing included the use of an altitude chamber to test each capsule and allow the astronauts to engage in simulated missions within a vacuum environment. In 1985, the chamber was modified for an unusual mission. During 1985 into 1987, the chamber was converted to an environmentally-controlled, hydroponic plant growth chamber termed the “Biomass Production Chamber”. The chamber hosted crop studies of wheat, soybean, lettuce, potato, and tomato and demonstrated intensive, closed environment farming until decommissioned in late 2001. Significant findings included: the nutrient solution could be reconstituted without replacement for at least four crop cycles; cooling the nutrient solution was important for potato crops and; redundant sensor systems were important to ensure consistent control and data collection.

Keyphrases: food production, Hydroponics, Plant Growth Chamber, Project Mercury

BibTeX entry
BibTeX does not have the right entry for preprints. This is a hack for producing the correct reference:
  author = {William Knott and Ralph Prince and John Sager and Raymond Wheeler and Thomas Dreschel},
  title = {From Project Mercury to the Breadboard Project},
  howpublished = {EasyChair Preprint no. 905},
  doi = {10.29007/vxqt},
  year = {EasyChair, 2019}}
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