Astro Garden® “Salad Diet" Scale Ground Prototype Assembly and Plant Growth Testing
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The Astro Garden aeroponic plant-growth system ground prototype was developed as a spacecraft analog to produce sufficient planting capability in support of the requirements for a "salad diet" as outlined by the Baseline Values and Assumptions Document (BVAD). The Astro Garden prototype was designed to operate with mostly gravity-independent systems, and an overall planting volume sufficient to meet the salad-diet production requirements. Astro Garden provides unique plant-growth capabilities in comparison to current spaceflight systems. Through aeroponic nutrient delivery, Astro Garden is capable of producing: potatoes, carrots, radishes, and other root vegetables. Initial testing in Astro Garden was performed with heritage spaceflight plants to provide a basis for the system performance in comparison to systems like Veggie. This paper documents the initial Astro Garden system build and a sample of plant-growth test results.