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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: 80NSSC20C0038
Agency Tracking Number: 182932
Amount: $754,919.00
Phase: Phase II
Program: STTR
Solicitation Topic Code: T7
Solicitation Number: STTR_18_P2
Timeline
Solicitation Year: 2018
Award Year: 2020
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2019-12-20
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2021-12-19
Small Business Information
5455 Spine Road, Suite ME, Boulder, CO, 80301-3312
DUNS: 080138735
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: Y
Principal Investigator
 Christine Escobar
 (720) 309-8475
 chris@spacelabtech.com
Business Contact
 Christine Escobar
Phone: (720) 309-8475
Email: chris@spacelabtech.com
Research Institution
 Regents of the University of Colorado
 3100 Marine Street
Boulder, CO, 80303-1058
 Federally funded R&D center (FFRDC)
Abstract
The MarsOasistrade; cultivation system is a versatile, autonomous, environmentally controlled growth chamber for food provision on the Martian surface.nbsp; MarsOasistrade; integrates a wealth of prior research and Mars growth chamber concepts into a complete system design and operational prototype.nbsp; MarsOasistrade; includes several innovative features relative to the state of the art space growth chambers. nbsp;It can operate on the Mars surface or inside of a habitat.nbsp; The growth volume maximizes available growth area and supports a variety of crop sizes, from seeding through harvest.nbsp; It utilizes in-situ CO2 from the Mars atmosphere.nbsp; Hybrid lighting takes advantage of natural sunlight during warmer periods, and supplemental LEDs during extreme cold, low light, or indoor operation.nbsp; Recirculating hydroponics and humidity recycling minimize water loss.nbsp; The structure also supports a variety of hydroponic nutrient delivery methods, depending on crop needs.nbsp; The growth chamber uses solar power when outside, with deployable solar panels that stow during dust storms or at night.nbsp; It can also use power from the habitat or other external sources.nbsp; The growth chamber is mobile, so that the crew can easily relocate it.nbsp; Autonomous environmental control manages crop conditions reducing crew time for operation. Finally, remote teleoperation allows pre-deployment, prior to crew arrival. nbsp;nbsp;This project directly addresses the NASA STTR technology area T7.02 ldquo;Space Exploration Plant Growthrdquo; and will be a major step towards closed-loop, sustainable living systems for space exploration.nbsp; This collaborative effort between Space Lab Technologies, LLC and the Bioastronautics research group from the CU Smead Aerospace Engineering Sciences Department will culminate in the development of a pilot-scale engineering demonstration unit (EDU) for key components.nbsp; Finally, thermal analysis, PAR distribution models, and ESM estimates for the MarsOasistrade; concept will be refined, based on EDU testing results.nbsp; nbsp;nbsp;nbsp;

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

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