Published: July 7, 2019
Integrated Multi-Trophic Aquaponics (IMTA) system with the AgQ display above the pond. Remotely Operated Gardening Rover (ROGR) and crew members tend keyhole wicking beds and fruit trees in the Biowick.

Plant growth systems are a critical component of a comprehensive Bioregenerative Life Support System (BLiSS) for long-duration human space exploration missions. Previous BLiSS technology development and crop selection have primarily focused on optimization of edible biomass and caloric content. In light of advances in horticulture, human space flight science, technology and nutritional science, these systems can benefit from reexamination. A holistic approach to designing plant growth systems and crop selection for human exploration missions must address how to influence long-term crew health, morale, and performance through multiple modalities. The greenhouse design concept for SIRONA: Sustainable Integration of Regenerative Outer-space Nature and Agriculture is presented. SIRONA is a food production, preparation, and preservation facility that includes: Integrated Multi-Trophic Aquaponics (IMTA), Controlled Environment Agriculture (CEA) systems, automation technologies, food preparation/preservation concepts as well as integration of crew recreation, access to nature, and horticulture therapy. This food production facility has the capability to produce a wide variety of food sources including land crops, algae, aquatic crops and aquatic animals (fish, crustaceans, and mollusks), all of which provide additional health benefits beyond fulfilling basic nutritional needs. SIRONA uses an innovative holistic design approach to integrate the following living systems: astronauts, plants, animals and microbes. Additionally, an updated food selection framework is presented that integrates an expanded set of evaluation criteria including nutritional, medicinal, and psychological value of edible living systems.

Reference

Hava, H., Zhou, L., Lombardi, E., Cui, K., Joung, H., Manzano, S.A., King, A., Kinlaw, H., Baker, K., Kaufman, A. and Correll, N., 2019, July. SIRONA: Sustainable Integration of Regenerative Outer-space Nature and Agriculture. Part 1--Architecture and Technology. 49th International Conference on Environmental Systems.