Crops News

Utah State helps to further farming in space


While many us take for granted fresh fruits and vegetables, astronauts miss out on those nutritious foods while they are in space. Moleaer, a nanobubble technology company, has partnered with Utah State University to change that. As the technology provider for its NASA approved pilot program for growing fresh crops in space, USU will explore water and nutrient delivery using nanobubble technology as a means of giving access to fresh, nutritious food to astronauts when on space expeditions.

The project uses Moleaer’s patented technology in its nanobubble generator, specifically designed for compact environments. Moleaer’s nanobubble technology has an 85 percent oxygen transfer rate, which improves water quality, root health, and plant development.

Moleaer’s engineers are developing a new design for space. The new generator and the material of construction must be compatible with the microgravity condition of spaceflight and the limited volume for food production on the International Space Station.

Nick Dyner, CEO at Moleaer said, “The opportunity to be part of NASA’s cutting edge research is a great privilege for our team and our technology. We’re excited to collaborate with Dr. Bruce Bugbee and the team at USU to advance the applications for nanobubble technology and for improving our ability to cultivate crops in any environment.”

Bruce Bugbee, with Utah State University, said, “Irrigation in microgravity is complex. Without gravity, water doesn’t drain from plant pots, and this results in plants being overwatered. Moleaer’s nanobubble technology directly oxygenates the root zone, which could be a game-changer for overcoming our irrigation challenges in space.”

This pilot program is part of a collaborative agreement between the Space Life and Physical Science Division and the Advanced Exploration Systems Division of NASA. USU was one of five projects that were selected by NASA to explore new systems to provide astronauts nutrition through freshly grown crops.

Preliminary results from this investigative research project will be released later this year.

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