Kennedy Space Center now training space farmers on an Advanced Plant Habitat test unit


In Florida, a high fidelity test version of NASA’s Advanced Plant Habitat, the largest plant chamber built for the agency, has arrived at the Kennedy Space Center. Engineering Services Contract engineers, scientists and technicians will train with the test unit to learn how to handle and assemble it before the actual APH unit arrives early next year.

NASA Kennedy engineers designed parts of the APH and fabricated the flight growth chamber, with the remaining subsystems designed and built in Wisconsin by ORBITEC. The unit is a closed-loop system with a controlled environment that accommodates large plants. The system will use red, green and blue LED lights, similar to the Veggie growth system on the International Space Station.

The small-scale experiment, called Plant Habitat 1, will contain Arabidopsis seeds, small flowering plants related to cabbage and mustard. PH01 and the APH unit will be delivered to the space station in 2017.