EDEN ISS – DLR greenhouse in Antarctica

#MadeInAntarc­ti­ca – Grow­ing veg­eta­bles in the eter­nal ice

Cut off from the outside world, the DLR EDEN ISS greenhouse was located in Antarctica, near the Neumayer III Antarctic station operated by the Alfred Wegener Institute (AWI), between 2018 and 2023. On the seventh continent, vegetables, salad ingredients and herbs grew during the polar night with the help of artificial light, effective nutrient solutions and completely without soil.

With the EDEN ISS greenhouse, located in the inhospitable environment of Antarctica, DLR tested plant cultivation in conditions as close as possible to those of a long-term space mission.

From early 2018, the DLR-operated EDEN ISS greenhouse in Antarctica was located just 400 meters from the German Neumayer III Antarctic Station. It was the most extensive long-term testing to date of what is the largest greenhouse designed to explore future food production on the Moon and Mars. The test greenhouse, as a closed system, enabled harvests independent of weather, sunlight and the seasons, while at the same time reducing water consumption and eliminating the use of pesticides and insecticides. During the mission, researchers gained important knowledge, in particular related to how highly integrated cultivation systems function under the extreme conditions, how human workflows can be integrated in an ideal and time-saving way, how existing resources can be used efficiently, how microbiology is shaped during cultivation and harvesting, and how the cultivation and supply of fresh vegetables affect the well-being of the isolated crew during overwintering.

At the same time, the researchers conducted research related to future food production in climatically unfavourable areas such as deserts and polar regions.




Background articles

Participating DLR institutes and facilities



Falk Dambowsky

Head of Media Relations, Editor
German Aerospace Center (DLR)
Corporate Communications
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Daniel Schubert

German Aerospace Center (DLR)
Institute of Space Systems
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