Oliver Hong, Alex Chen
University Transition Program
Floor Location : J 034 N
How can a suitable greenhouse environment be created to best suit the needs of plants within a simulated Martian biosphere, and how should the environment be developed in order to achieve maximum efficiency and cost effectiveness?
This innovative project aims to measure the effectiveness of a geodesic dome greenhouse at growing plants within a simulated Martian environment. A geodesic dome design was elaborated and improved through multiple iterations prompted by background study, experiments and the design process. In the study, toxic chemicals like perchlorates were researched, and effective ways to filter and prepare Martian soil for agriculture were hypothesized. Through experiments that measured the growth both within, and without a simulated environment, efficient growth patterns were detected and later utilized. Two different plant species were used, pisum vulgaris and brassica napus, as they are resistant to cold temperatures and relatively nutritious. Through multiple experiments, it was noticed that plants grown within Martian soil displayed signs of nitrogen deficiency and underdeveloped root systems. Nitrogen fixers and tuber vegetables were considered as solutions to soil quality, along with urea fertilizer and mycorrhizal fungus. Through this innovation, it is hoped that process like these will also be applicable elsewhere, and in places on Earth that are generally considered inhospitable.