#MadeInAntarc­ti­ca - Grow­ing veg­eta­bles in the eter­nal ice

EDEN ISS Antarctic greenhouse
EDEN ISS Antarc­tic green­house
Image 1/4, Credit: DLR / NASA / Bunchek

EDEN ISS Antarctic greenhouse

The DLR Antarc­tic green­house EDEN ISS is lo­cat­ed on the Ek­ström Ice Shelf, ap­prox­i­mate­ly 400 me­tres away from the Ger­man Neu­may­er Sta­tion III.
Jess Bunchek holding her first harvest
Jess Bunchek hold­ing her first har­vest
Image 2/4, Credit: © AWI / Ort

Jess Bunchek holding her first harvest

Jess Bunchek from NASA's Kennedy Space Cen­ter will be a guest re­searcher at DLR's EDEN ISS Antarc­tic green­house dur­ing 2021.
Radishes before harvest
Radish­es be­fore har­vest
Image 3/4, Credit: DLR (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0)

Radishes before harvest

Radish­es be­fore the first har­vest in the EDEN ISS green­house. The plants are cul­ti­vat­ed un­der ar­ti­fi­cial light and with­out soil. Their roots are reg­u­lar­ly sprayed with a nu­tri­ent so­lu­tion.
View of Neumayer III Station
View of Neu­may­er III Sta­tion
Image 4/4, Credit: DLR (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0)

View of Neumayer III Station

Neu­may­er III Sta­tion with ad­ja­cent fa­cil­i­ties. The EDEN ISS green­house can be seen in the up­per cen­tre of the im­age.

Cut off from the outside world, the DLR EDEN ISS greenhouse has been located in Antarctica, near the Neumayer III Antarctic station operated by the Alfred Wegener Institute (AWI), since 2018. On the seventh continent, vegetables, salads and herbs thrive during the polar night with the help of artificial light, effective nutrient solutions and completely without soil. With the EDEN ISS greenhouse in the inhospitable environment of the Antarctic, DLR wants to get as close as possible to the conditions of a long-term mission in space. The research laboratory is not only used to test vegetable cultivation for future manned space missions to the Moon and Mars. At the same time, the scientists are researching future food production in climatically unfavourable areas such as deserts and arctic regions.

For overwintering in 2021, plant scientist Jess Bunchek from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center is spending a year at the Neumayer III Antarctic Station as a DLR guest researcher. During a joint research mission by DLR and NASA, she is investigating how astronauts will be able to grow large quantities of lettuce, cucumbers, tomatoes, peppers and herbs in the future, using as little time and energy as possible, and is putting greenhouse technology and robust plant varieties to the test. Bunchek is also recording how the green habitat and its produce affect the isolated overwintering crew on the eternal ice. She is part of the ten-member overwintering crew at Neumayer Station III.

On social media, the activities at the EDEN ISS Antarctic greenhouse can be followed using the hashtag #MadeInAntarctica. The Antarctic greenhouse has channels on Facebook and Instagram and a picture gallery on Flickr. In the blog, Jess Bunchek writes about her personal impressions of the Antarctic mission. With a new tool, the plants of the EDEN ISS greenhouse in Antarctica can be observed. Every day, the images from 34 cameras make it possible to follow how the plants are growing.

7 Images
  • Falk Dambowsky
    Head of Me­dia Re­la­tions, Ed­i­tor
    Ger­man Aerospace Cen­ter (DLR)

    Cor­po­rate Com­mu­ni­ca­tions
    Telephone: +49 2203 601-3959
    Linder Höhe
    51147 Cologne

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