NASA Introduces LED Grow Light to Plant Fresh Vegetables for Astronauts

- Jun 05, 2018-

NASA Introduces LED Grow Light to Plant Fresh Vegetables for Astronauts

According to NASA, LED growers will be used to grow tomatoes and fresh salad leaves to provide food for astronauts on the International Space Station.

The researchers did a growth room at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida to dim the LED lighting system to provide optimal conditions when the system was finally installed on the International Space Station.

The team is adjusting lighting conditions to optimize plant growth under various conditions, and then replicate these scenes in the Advanced Plant Habitat of the International Space Station to meet the complex needs of producing food in space.

Through the radiation of different wavelengths of light, the growth cycle of plants can be controlled and accelerated, so that plants can be harvested more frequently or on an as-needed basis. The special light formula can not only optimize the yield and growth time, but also increase the content of vitamins and nutrients in the plant, and can enhance certain flavors. LED can not only provide customized biologically active lighting, but also very effective.

The researchers used Osram's Phytofy RL system, which includes a UV channel, allowing researchers to add transient UV light to understand how plants react and change. It also includes irradiance maps so scientists do not need to measure irradiance separately before changing light settings.

In recent years, NASA has been exploring the possibility of growing food crops in a controlled environment for long-term space missions. A research team led by NASA plant physiologist Ray Wheeler has been studying how to effectively grow safe and fresh food crops in space.

Recently, astronauts of the International Space Station harvested and eaten a variety of red lettuces. They grew in a plant growth system called Veggie.

OSRAM's Steve Graves said: “In the past few decades, many of the coolest and most useful inventions in the world have come from scientists at NASA. Using our technology to further promote innovation is a matter of glory.

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