Development of an Outreach and Teaching Module (LGH- OTM) Based On Prototype Lunar Greenhouse Program



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44th International Conference on Environmental Systems


The Lunar Greenhouse Outreach & Teaching Module (LGH-OTM) was developed by the Controlled Environment Agriculture Center of the University of Arizona (UA-CEAC), with its associates Hungry Planets Systems and Services (HPSS), Sadler Machine Company (SMC) and several site-specific organizations. A public education platform, the LGH-OTM served to advance the activities of the Arizona-NASA Ralph Steckler Space Colonization grant program, focused on outreach goals to present science, technology, education, food security and production, with educational exhibits and demonstrations. In display at high efficacy public education venues to achieve education outreach, media placement, and controlled environment agriculture training opportunities, the LGH-OTM was a more portable and tangible version of the prototype Lunar Greenhouse (LGH) installation at UA-CEAC. With written and video materials marshalled by HPSS and developed by CEAC staff, HPSS and site-specific professionals, the LGH-OTM was displayed at three sites in the USA, gaining a verified total audience of more than 2.5 million. The LGH program was based on more than a decade of installed research at and from the UA-CEAC, Systems and Industrial Engineering (UA-SIE) and Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering (UA-AME) in collaboration with SMC and many other partners, beginning with the South Pole Food Growth Chamber through Raytheon Polar Services Company and the National Science Foundation (NSF), and with continued sponsorship by NASA, NSF and various aerospace companies including Aero- Sekur SpA (Italy), Franco-Italian Thales Alenia Space, and AGC Green-Tech Co. (Japan). The LGH program, funded by NASA Steckler Phase 1 and 2 Space Grant, supported collaboration from a multidisciplinary and multinational team of experts to study and evaluate the scientific and technical merit and feasibility of the LGH as a Bioregenerative Life Support System. The LGH-OTM was constructed to demonstrate crop production within a BLSS-type physical environment with a hydroponic multi-cropping system that could produce crops (lettuce, strawberry, sweet potato, and tomato). It was a semi-autonomous food production device capable of automated climate control (air temperature, light, and hydroponic nutrient solution), and using labor for transplant and harvest it successfully demonstrated controlled environment and hydroponic crop production within a semi- portable educational setting. The system also included sensor and reports systems allowing for remote data collection. The presentation will focus on technical and communication accomplishments in design; materials of construction and display; operation; and educational programs of UA-CEAC and its partners about the LGH-OTM.


Tucson, Arizona