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MarsOasis - An Efficient Autonomously Controlled Martian Crop Production System

Award Information
Agency: National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Branch: N/A
Contract: 80NSSC18P2142
Agency Tracking Number: 182932
Amount: $124,620.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: STTR
Solicitation Topic Code: T7
Solicitation Number: STTR_18_P1
Solicitation Year: 2018
Award Year: 2018
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2018-07-27
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2019-08-26
Small Business Information
5455 Spine Rd, Ste ME
Boulder, CO 80301-3312
United States
DUNS: 080138735
HUBZone Owned: No
Woman Owned: No
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: Yes
Principal Investigator
 Christine Escobar
 (720) 309-8475
Business Contact
 Christine Escobar
Phone: (720) 309-8475
Research Institution
 Regents of the University of Colorado
3100 Marine Street
Boulder, CO 80303-1058
United States

 Federally Funded R&D Center (FFRDC)

The MarsOasis™ cultivation system is a versatile, autonomous, environmentally controlled growth chamber for food provision on the Martian surface.  MarsOasis™ integrates a wealth of prior research and Mars growth chamber concepts into a complete system design and operational prototype.  MarsOasis™ includes several innovative features relative to the state of the art space growth chambers.  It can operate on the Mars surface or inside of a habitat.  The growth volume maximizes growth area and supports a variety of crop sizes, from seeding through harvest.  It utilizes in-situ CO2 from the Mars atmosphere.  Hybrid lighting takes advantage of natural sunlight during warmer periods, and supplemental LEDs during extreme cold, low light, or indoor operation.  Recirculating hydroponics and humidity recycling minimize water loss.  The structure also supports a variety of hydroponic nutrient delivery methods, depending on crop needs.  The growth chamber uses solar power when outside, with deployable solar panels that stow during dust storms or at night.  It can also use power from the habitat or other external sources.  The growth chamber is mobile, so that the crew can easily relocate it.  Autonomous environmental control manages crop conditions reducing crew time for operation. Finally, remote teleoperation allows pre-deployment, prior to crew arrival.   This project directly addresses the NASA STTR technology area T7.02 “Space Exploration Plant Growth” and will be a major step towards closed-loop, sustainable living systems for space exploration.  This collaborative effort between Space Lab Technologies, LLC and the Bioastronautics research group from the CU Boulder Smead Aerospace Engineering Sciences Department combines conceptual design, modeling & analysis, experimentation, and prototyping to demonstrate feasibility and prepare for future development of a demonstration unit.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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