Present picture of the EDEN ISS research facility in Antarctica.
DLR (CC-BY 3.0).
EDEN ISS Mission control center in Bremen (Germany).
© DLR, all rights reserved.
Paul Zabel during harvest inside the EDEN ISS Container.
EDEN ISS Research platform at Neumayer Station III (Antarctica).
DLR (CC-BY 3.0).
Agulhas II with the EDEN ISS containers on the sea ice in Atka Bay.
After being unloaded from the ship, the greenhouse containers were towed about 20 kilometers to the Neumayer Station III.
The two greenhouse containers were placed on a pre-installed platform about 400 metres away from the Neumayer Station III.
Scientist checks the Swiss Chard growing in the EDEN ISS greenhouse
Scientist inspects the growth of Basil in the EDEN ISS greenhouse
Scientist inspecting plants in the EDEN ISS greenhouse
Scientist preparing to prune a tomato plant
Scientist examines the ‘Outredgeous’ lettuce in the EDEN ISS greenhouse
Scientist checking on the health of a cucumber plant in the EDEN ISS greenhouse
Scientist inspecting the roots of Swiss Chard plants in the EDEN ISS greenhouse
Investigating plant health
Scientist checking the mustard plants in the EDEN ISS greenhouse
Scientist testing a multi-spectral imager in the EDEN ISS greenhouse
Scientist examining a cucumber plant in the EDEN ISS greenhouse
Logo of EDEN ISS.
Rendering of the greenhouse container for the exploration mission to Antarctica. With the research facility will allow the investigation of new cultivation methods for future missions to Moon and Mars.
Rendering of the EDEN ISS greenhouse container.
Blick von der Service Sektion in das Gewächshausmodul.
Inside view of the greenhouse module of the Antarctic mission.
Scientist examines plants in the EDEN-Lab.
Scientist during lettuce haverst.
Panorama view of the EDEN Laboratory.
Inspection of a nutrient solution optimized for the crop types cultivated in the EDEN Lab.
Ground Demonstration of Plant Cultivation Technologies and Operation in Space
For Safe Food Production on-board ISS and Future Human Space Exploration Vehicles and Planetary Outposts
Sustained human presence in space requires the development of new technologies to maintain environmental control, to manage wastes, to provide water, oxygen, food and to keep astronauts healthy and psychologically fit. Bioregenerative life support systems, in particular the cultivation of higher plants, are advantageous from this regard due to their ability to be employed for food production, carbon dioxide reduction, oxygen production, water recycling and waste management. Furthermore, fresh crops are not only beneficial for human physiological health, but also have a positive impact on crew psychological well-being.
The EDEN ISS consortium will design and test essential controlled environment agriculture (CEA) technologies using an International Standard Payload Rack (ISPR) cultivation system for potential testing on-board the ISS. Furthermore, a Future Exploration Greenhouse (FEG) will be designed with respect to future planetary bioregenerative life support system deployments. The technologies will be tested in a laboratory environment as well as at the highly-isolated Antarctic Neumayer Station III, operated by the Alfred Wegener Institute. The overall facility, referred to as the EDEN ISS Mobile Test Facility (MTF), will be built in order to provide realistic mass flow relationships for the ISPR demonstrator and FEG. In addition to technology development and validation, food safety and plant handling procedures will be developed. These are integral aspects of the interaction between the crew and plants within closed environments.
The EDEN ISS project is a 4.5 M€ European Union Horizon 2020 project (reference number: 636501) supported via the COMPET-07-2014 - Space exploration – Life support subprogramme. It had its official kick-off in March of 2015 and will continue until the completion of a year-long Antarctic deployment phase in which the EDEN ISS facility will be installed and operated in the vicinity of the Neumayer III Antarctic station. The EDEN ISS consortium (Figure 1) is comprised of leading European experts (in addition to Canada) in the domain of human spaceflight and CEA. The EDEN ISS scientific advisory board consists of the top scientists in the field of CEA from Russia, USA, Japan, Italy and Germany.
Due to the necessity of validating key technologies for space greenhouses under mission relevant conditions and with representative mass flows, the EDEN ISS consortium defined six objectives:
Technology readiness and operational procedure advancements have particular focus on the ISS plant growth system demonstrator, nutrient delivery systems, LED lighting systems, bio-detection and decontamination systems, food quality and safety procedures for safe food production.
The EDEN ISS MTF (Figure 2) is being designed to provide fresh produce for overwintering crews at the Neumayer III Antarctic station while at the same time advancing the spaceflight readiness of a number of key plant growth technologies. The MTF will also serve as a tool to develop operational procedures and study select science aims associated with remote plant production. The MTF will consist of two 20 foot long 'high cube' containers, which will be placed on top of an external platform located approximately 300 m south from Neumayer Station III.
The actual MTF can be subdivided into three distinct sections:
The preliminary design of the EDEN ISS MTF was formalized as a result of a two-week long concurrent engineering design study conducted in conjunction with all project partners in September 2015. In March 2016, the EDEN ISS project completed its critical design review. The project has now entered its hardware development and testing phase (Figure 3). Project subsystems will be integrated into the MTF starting at the end of 2016, following which a long-term integrated testing campaign will be conducted at the German Aerospace Center (DLR) in Bremen, Germany. The facility will then be transported to Antarctica by the Polarstern research icebreaker to the vicinity of Neumayer Station III where it will be installed and undergo ca. one year of operations. Although a Neumayer Station III overwintering crewmember will operate the facility, a large emphasis will also be placed on remote monitoring and operations. A detailed scientific campaign will be conducted throughout the expedition and numerous samples returned to European laboratories following the completion of the Antarctic campaign.